Tour of New Zealand: England take on Super Rugby franchise Crusaders in Christchurch
Last Updated: 17/06/14 8:30am
England head coach Stuart Lancaster will offer his wider squad a run out in Tuesday’s tour match against the Crusaders in Christchurch.
The tourists take on the New Zealand Super Rugby conference leaders in a one-off match as they continue their search for a first win of the tour.
Lancaster’s side were beaten 20-15 in the Test series opener in Auckland before narrowly missing out in a 28-27 reverse in Dunedin at the weekend.
However, a tour match against the Christchurch franchise offers a brief reprieve for Lancaster, who will experiment with four uncapped players in his starting line-up.
With the Rugby World Cup touching down on British soil in 2015, the England coach is eager to test the depth of his squad and will aim to so in a showdown with the side currently sitting third in the Super Rugby ladder.
"This is a really important match for us in terms of the development of our squad," Lancaster said.
"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 are treating this as 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.”
Packing down in the Crusaders front row will be Tim Perry, Corey Flynn and Nepo Laulala, while Joel Everson is set to make his Crusaders debut at lock alongside Jimmy Tupou, and the younger brother of All Black fly-half Beauden Barrett, Scott, could also make his first senior appearance.
Flanker Matt Todd has been released by the All Blacks to join the team and will take a place in the reserves to provide cover for Whitelock brothers George and Luke and Jordan Taufua in the loose forwards.
Willi Heinz starts at scrum-half and forms an axis partnership with Tyler Bleyendaal while Andy Ellis is ready to add his international experience from off the bench.
For England meanwhile, uncapped Leicester second-row Ed Slater will captain an England side which includes 11 players with Test experience.
Danny Cipriani starts at fly-half, while centre Kyle Eastmond’s omission offers an indication that he could be involved in the match-day 23 for England’s third Test against the All Blacks on Saturday.
Jonny May, who started on the wing the first Test in Auckland, is amongst the replacements with Bath's Anthony Watson, Gloucester's Henry Trinder and Sale's Michael Paterson also set to make their senior debuts for England.
Crusaders: 15 Taylor, 14 McNicholl, 13 Lee-Lo, 12 Fonotia, 11 Tuitavake, 10 Bleyendaal, 9 Heinz; 1 Perry, 2 Flynn, 3 Laulala, 4 Tupou, 5 Everson, 6 Taufua, 7 G Whitelock (capt), 8 L Whitelock
Replacements: 16 Funnell, 17 Moody, 18 Tokolahi, 19 Barrett, 20 Todd, 21 Ellis, 22 A Whitelock, 23 Thompson
England: 15 Goode, 14 Foden, 13 Trinder, 12 Barritt, 11 Watson, 10 Cipriani, 9 Dickson, 1 Waller, 2 Gray, 3 Thomas, 4 Slater (capt), 5 Attwood, 6 Haskell, 7 Kvesic, 8 Johnson
Replacements: 16 Ward, 17 Catt, 18 Sinckler, 19 Paterson, 20 Wigglesworth, 21 Myler, 22 May, 23 Pennell
Watch Crusaders v England live from 8am on Sky Sports 1HD