England and New Zealand Name Teams for Epic Autumn International

Ben BlackmoreFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2013

BAGSHOT, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Dan Cole passes the ball during the England training session at Pennyhill Park on November 12, 2013 in Bagshot, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
David Rogers/Getty Images

England and New Zealand both know the lineups they will be facing at Twickenham on Saturday after the teams were confirmed on Thursday.

Dan Cole was the major name added to Stuart Lancaster’s England side, slotting into the front row in place of Dave Wilson.

Elsewhere there are few changes to the home lineup after they flew out of the blocks in last week's 31-12 victory over Argentina.

They eventually faded in that game, but the initial dedication to the breakdown and lung-busting tempo shown against the Argentinians will be expected for the full 80 minutes against the All Blacks.

Lancaster’s men blew their Southern Hemisphere opponents off the pitch in last year’s corresponding fixture, albeit aided by an illness in the New Zealand camp, per ESPN Scrum.

They enter the Test this time with a far less experienced midfield duo, as England continue to operate without the injured Manu Tuilagi and Brad Barritt at centre.

Lancaster commented, via ESPN Scrum:

We have had some enforced changes with Alex Corbisiero and Mako Vunipola unavailable and we have been unable to consider a number of players due to short and long term injuries. But we are ready for the challenge of playing a top quality side in New Zealand and are excited about playing at Twickenham.

The atmosphere was amazing for this game last year - the crowd made a real difference and I'm sure they can help inspire us again on Saturday.

New Zealand have named a settled starting XV that features just one change from the side that won in France last weekend.

The dangerous Julian Savea returns to the wing at the expense of Cory Jane, who drops out of the squad. Ben Smith, so prolific on the wing during the Rugby Championship with eight tries, continues at outside-centre.

It means England will face arguably the best back row in world rugby, with Richie McCaw, Liam Messam and Kieran Read charged with bringing the intensity the All Blacks so badly missed in last year’s fixture.

Daniel Carter is expected to lead the All Blacks out in what is his 100th Test.

Head coach Steve Hansen told the All Blacks’ official website:

We were completely outplayed by them (England) last year but this is an opportunity for us to see if we have improved our game to the point where we can be competitive. The players are excited because this is what Test rugby is all about.

We know the England coaching staff have done a lot of homework so this may be a game where we add a few new things they haven't seen before.


England Starting XV: 1. J Marler, 2. D Hartley, 3. D Cole, 4. J Launchbury, 5. C Lawes, 6. T Wood, 7. C Robshaw, 8. B Vunipola, 9. L Dickson, 10. O Farrell, 11. B Foden; 12. B Twelvetrees, 13. J Tomkins, 14. C Ashton, 15. M Brown

Replacements: T Youngs, M Mullan, D Wilson, G Parling, B Morgan, B Youngs, T Flood, A Goode

New Zealand Starting XV: 1. T Woodcock, 2. K Mealamu, 3. O Franks, 4. B Retallick, 5. S Whitelock, 6. L Messam, 7. R McCaw, 8. K Read, 9. A Smith, 10. D Carter, 11. J Savea, 12. M Nonu, 13. B Smith, 14. C Piutau, 15. I Dagg

Replacements: D Coles, W Crockett, C Faumuina, L Romano, S Luatua, T Kerr-Barlow, A Cruden, R Crotty