England Saxons have named their side for this Friday’s trip to Galway to face the 02 Ireland Wolfhounds, as the momentum builds towards next week’s clash with Scotland A at Kingston Park.
Five players are set to make their debuts with Elliot Daly (London Wasps), Joel Tomkins (Saracens) and George Ford (Leicester Tigers) all coming into a youthful backline, while Saracens pair George Kruis and Will Fraser start in the back-row.
There are some new faces named amongst the replacements too with Rob Buchannan (Harlequins), Shaun Knight (Gloucester Rugby) and ex-rugby league international Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby) all getting the nod.
Leicester Tigers No.8 Jordan Crane (pictured above) will skipper the Saxons after helping the Welford Road club to a place in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals last weekend.
Crane is one of six full internationals in the team along with Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors), Paul Doran Jones (Northampton Saints), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins) and Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens).
Head coach Jon Callard said: “This is a dynamic young side with an average age of less than 24 and the players have a chance to show that they can play a major part of the future of England Rugby over the coming years. The blend of forward power and pace in the back line makes it an exciting one to be involved with.
“We’re facing an experienced Irish side in this opening game and the challenge is to step up and deliver a high quality performance in front of a passionate crowd in Galway.”
After facing the Wolfhounds away from home the Saxons return to England to take on Scotland A at Kingston Park on Friday, February 1 (kick-off 8pm).
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