- Slater to lead England side containing 11 players with Test experience
- Waller, Trinder and Watson also make first senior England starts
Ed Slater will captain an experienced England side against the Crusaders at AMI Stadium tomorrow, kick-off 8:35am BST, live on Sky Sports.
The Leicester Tigers lock, who led his club in their late surge in the second half of the domestic season, will skipper a side containing 11 capped internationals.
Photo: Getty Images
The 25-year-old is one of four senior England debutants along with Northampton Saints loose-head prop Alex Waller, Gloucester Rugby centre Henry Trinder and Bath Rugby wing Anthony Watson. Christchurch-born Michael Paterson, a former Crusader, is named on the replacements’ bench with fellow uncapped trio Dave Ward, Nathan Catt and Kyle Sinckler.
England are looking for a first win of the tour in Christchurch after narrow defeats in the first Test in Auckland (20-15) and the second Test (28-27) in Dunedin.
Stuart Lancaster outlined the importance of the game on the four-game tour and added that Slater is a natural leader. “This is a really important match for us in terms of the development of our squad,” said the England Head Coach.
“We wanted this game to test ourselves against a top Super 15 side and with a large squad out here we are hoping to create opportunities for everyone to lay down a marker on this tour. We can see by how they have trained that they can’t wait to pull on an England shirt tomorrow.
Photo: Getty Images
“Ed is a natural leader who has captained Leicester well and I am sure he will do the same with this England side. We are treating this like an additional Test and I know the Crusaders will be highly motivated to put in a good performance on the back of their Super 15 form.”
England will be supporting the rebuilding of Christchurch by wearing the Canterbury Rugby Earthquake Relief Charitable Trust logo on their playing jerseys and donating 10 specially embroidered signed shirts to be auctioned off in aid of the fund.
England Team to face Crusaders
15 Alex Goode (Saracens)
14 Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
13 Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby)
12 Brad Barritt (Saracens)
11 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
10 Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks)
9 Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
1 Alex Waller (Northampton Saints)
2 Joe Gray (Harlequins)
3 Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks)
4 Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers, capt)
5 Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby)
6 James Haskell (London Wasps)
7 Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby)
8 Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs)
16 David Ward (Harlequins)
17 Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby)
18 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
19 Michael Paterson (Sale Sharks)
20 Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)
21 Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints)
22 Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)
23 Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors)