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Premiership Rugby

Dawson ruled out of showdown against NZ

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

Saturday's showdown between the No.1-ranked team on the Zurich World Rankings, England, and New Zealand is generally regarded as one of the key games before the World Cup in Australia, which will take place in October and November.

The veteran scrum-half, Dawson, will be replaced in the England team by another experienced campaigner in Saracens halfback Kyran Bracken. He is elevated to the starting line-up after helping the midweek side to a well-deserved 23-9 win against the New Zealand Maori on Monday.

Bracken's enforced promotion sees Gloucester scrum-half Andy Gomarsall, who scored a late try to help England to victory over the NZ Maori, move up to the bench for the game against the All Blacks.

The loss of Dawson is a big blow to England.

He has been a key member of Clive Woodward's Six Nations Grand Slam-winning squad this year. Another noteworthy feat was his performances for the British Lions team that clinched a series win in South Africa back in 1997.

He scored two tries in the three games against the Springboks after replacing the injured Rob Howley in the Test XV.

Revised England team: 15 Josh Lewsey, 14 Jason Robinson, 13 Will Greenwood, 12 Mike Tindall, 11 Ben Cohen, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Kyran Bracken, 8 Lawrence Dallaglio, 7 Neil Back, 6 Richard Hill, 5 Ben Kay, 4 Martin Johnson (captain), 3 Jason Leonard, 2 Steve Thompson, 1 Graham Rowntree.Replacements: 16 Dorian West, 17 Phil Vickery, 18 Steve Borthwick, 19 Joe Worsley, 20 Andy Gomarsall, 21 Paul Grayson, 22 Dan Luger.

Kick-off: 19.00 NZST (07.00 GMT, 08.00 BST)


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