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Burgess handed starting role for England Saxons

Sam Burgess will make his international rugby union debut when England Saxons take on the Ireland Wolfhounds in Cork on Friday night live on Sky Sports HD at 7:45pm.

The Bath Rugby player will start at inside centre in one of the strongest Saxons sides selected in recent years.

He will be joined in the midfield by Elliot Daly (Wasps) with England internationals Chris Ashton (Saracens) and Marland Yarde (Harlequins) on the wings. Worcester Warriors’ Chris Pennell, who made his England debut against the All Blacks last summer, will start at full-back.

Northampton Saints scrum-half Lee Dickson, will lead the team out at Irish Independent Park against the Wolfhounds.

The front row is full of international experience with Matt Mullan (Wasps), Rob Webber (Bath Rugby) and Henry Thomas (Bath Rugby) named in the side.

Jon Callard, the Saxons head coach, said: “The game tomorrow night against the Wolfhounds will be a difficult and tough match for us but the group is excited about it and the opportunity to put on an England shirt.

“The team is one of the strongest Saxons sides selected and every player knows the importance of this match with potential of claiming a spot in the senior squad for the RBS 6 Nations campaign and the World Cup later in year.”

Newcastle Falcons’ Kieran Brookes has been called back into the senior squad as training cover so Jake Cooper-Woolley (Wasps) will take his place on the Saxons bench.

Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks) has been brought into the Saxons group on standby.

The last time the two sides met on Irish soil, in 2013, the Saxons beat the Wolfhounds 14-10 in Galway but last season’s fixture saw the Saxons narrowly lose 14-8 at Kingsholm, Gloucester.
 
15 Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors)
14 Chris Ashton (Saracens)
13 Elliot Daly (Wasps)
12 Sam Burgess (Bath Rugby)
11 Marland Yarde (Harlequins)
10 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
9 Lee Dickson, captain (Northampton Saints)
 
1 Matt Mullan (Wasps)
2 Rob Webber (Bath Rugby)
3 Henry Thomas (Bath Rugby)
4 Matt Garvey (Bath Rugby)
5 James Gaskell (Wasps)
6 Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs)
7 Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby)
8 Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs)
 
Replacements
16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
17 Alex Waller (Northampton Saints)
18 Jake Cooper-Woolley (Wasps)
19 Maro Itoje (Saracens)
20 Carl Fearns (Bath)
21 Joe Simpson (Wasps)
22 Ollie Devoto (Bath Rugby)
23 Christian Wade (Wasps)

 

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