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Premiership Rugby

Anglesea to skipper England XV

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

The popular 31-year-old back rower takes over from tour captain Hugh Vyvyan, who led the side to Churchill Cup victory in Canada last Saturday.

Anglesea is one of three players, along with Ben Johnston and Alex Codling, retained from the starting line-up in Vancouver as coach Jim Mallinder draws fully on his 29-strong contingent for a game against the Japanese side.

Mallinder said: "The reason we have chosen Pete as captain is that he is an experienced player who has the respect of the rest of the squad. He has played very well on this tour and we know that he will lead by example.

"We have said all along that we will pick sides to win games and we think we have done that but we are also giving opportunities to everyone. There are only two players who haven't yet started on tour, Matt Cairns and Neal Hatley, and they will get their chance on Thursday.

"With losing Tom Palmer we are down to two second rowers, which is why Alex Codling is playing again; likewise Ben Johnston because we only have him and Henry Paul as recognised inside centres."

After three weeks in Vancouver, the players have suddenly had to cope with a complete culture change as well as jet lag and Anglesea added:

"It's the first time in Japan for 95 percent of this squad and when you come to a county that has a different culture you have to cope the best you can.

"But I can't imagine the stadium and the atmosphere being any more hostile than some of the places our guys have been to in France or even England."

The Japan Select XV features several highly-experienced players, including centre Yukio Motoki and flanker Takeomi Ito, who have won 59 and 47 caps respectively, as well as French-based No.8 Yuya Saito (Colomiers) and wing Daisuke Ohata (Montferrand).

New Zealand-born second rower Adam Parker has also named in the starting XV.

The teams:

England: 15 Michael Horak (London Irish), 14 Dan Scarbrough (Leeds Tykes), 13 Fraser Waters (London Wasps), 12 Ben Johnston (Saracens), 11 Phil Christophers (Leeds Tykes), 10 Olly Barkley (Bath), 9 Nick Walshe (Sale Sharks), 8 Pete Anglesea (Sale Sharks), (captain), 7 Andy Hazell (Gloucester), 6 Paul Volley (London Wasps), 5 Alex Codling (Saracens), 4 Chris Jones (Sale Sharks), 3 Neil Hatley (London Irish), 2 Matt Cairns (Sale Sharks), 1 David Flatman (Bath).Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell (Sale Sharks), 17 Andy Sheridan (Sale Sharks), 18 Will Green (London Wasps), 19 Alex Brown (Gloucester), 20 Dan Hyde (Leeds Tykes), 21 Henry Paul (Gloucester), 22 Martyn Wood (Bath).

Japan Select XV: 15 M Tsutomu (Toshiba Fuchu), 14 D Ohata (Montferrand), 13 H Namba (Toyota Motor), 12 Y Motoki (Kobe Steel), 11 T Kurihara (Suntory), 10 K Hirose (Toyota Motor), 9 Y Sonoda (Kobe Steel), 8 Y Saito (Colomiers), 7 T Miuchi (NEC, captain), 6 T Ito (Kobe Steel), 5 A Parker (Toshiba Fuchu), 4 H Kiso (Yamaha Motor), 3 M Toyoyama (Toyota Motor), 2 M Amino (NEC), 1 S Hasegawa (Suntory).Replacements: 16 M Yamamoto (Toyota Motor), 17 H Matsuo (Toshiba Fuchu), 18 K Kubo (Yamaha Motor), 19 Y Watanabe (Toshiba Fuchu), 20 W Murata (Yamaha Motor), 21 R Parkinson (Sanix), 22 H Onozawa (Suntory).

Kick-off: 19.00 Local time, 11.00 BST, Thursday, July 3Venue: Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo


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