Jump to main content
Premiership Rugby

Woodward names squad for NZ Baa-baas

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

Amongst the England heroes in contention for a place in the starting XV are Jason Robinson, Richard Hill, Mike Tindall, Phil Vickery and Steve Thompson.

The rules govern the fixture on December 20 meant that Woodward could only select a maximum of three players from each Zurich Premiership team. That number also includes those New Zealand Barbarians based in the Zurich Premiership, like Saracens' Taine Randell.

Drop-goal hero Jonny Wilkinson was not considered for selection because of an injury to his neck.

"I've selected a very strong England XV squad to prepare for the game and it's the most experienced of all the teams I've selected to face a Barbarians side," said Woodward.

"It contains players with nearly 500 caps between them and it's a game which gives all those taking part with a fantastic opportunity to make a positive statement ahead of the 2004 RBS Six Nations Championship."

The absence of so many of England's more 'senior' figures indicates that Woodward may already have an eye fixed on RWC 2007, and the fixture offers an opportunity to those youngster who failed to make it to Australia to press their claims.

"It will be great to see Charlie Hodgson and James Simpson-Daniel back playing at Twickenham," continued Woodward.

"I'm also looking forward to working with Andrew Sheridan, who is having such a good season with Sale Sharks, and made rapid progress through the National Academy last season.

"I have been mindful of injuries and as Jonny Wilkinson has had scans for a neck problem he has not been considered for selection.

"The game itself will be a great spectacle but I'm delighted to say that the whole England RWC squad, including Martin Johnson, Jonny Wilkinson and Lawrence Dallaglio will be parading the Webb Ellis Cup around the stadium for a lap of honour after the game.

"The crowd will also see Jason Leonard receive a presentation from the RFU President, Robert Horner to commemorate his 113th cap and Jonny Wilkinson and Kyran Bracken will receive their 50th silver caps, all richly deserved.

"Each of these players and the RWC squad have made a huge contribution to rugby in England and I hope the crowd enjoy the day, which is a celebration of what we have achieved not just in the RWC but throughout the last 12 months.

"Finally, this is the first game since the RWC Final in Sydney and on behalf of the squad I'd like to see all the supporters wearing something white in support of the team. The more white scarves, shirts and hats we see will all add to the celebration and spectacle of the day."

Gloucester prop Vickery will captain the team in Johnson's absence.

England squad: Stuart Abbott (London Wasps), Iain Balshaw (Bath), Kyran Bracken (Saracens), Andy Gomarsall (Gloucester), Paul Grayson (Northampton Saints), Danny Grewcock (Bath), Richard Hill (Saracens), Charlie Hodgson (Sale Sharks), Lewis Moody (Leicester Tigers), Mark Regan (Leeds Tykes), Jason Robinson (Sale Sharks), Pat Sanderson (NEC Harlequins), Simon Shaw (London Wasps), Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks), James Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester), Ollie Smith (Leicester Tigers), Steve Thompson (Northampton Saints), Mike Tindall (Bath), Phil Vickery (Gloucester, captain), Hugh Vyvyan (Newcastle Falcons), Joe Worsley (London Wasps), Michael Worsley (NEC Harlequins).


Next Story

Wilkinson shoulder fracture confirmed

Previous Story

Leicester Tigers sign Chinese national captain

Choose your club

Bath Rugby
Bristol Bears
Exeter Chiefs
Gloucester Rugby
Leicester Tigers
London Irish
Newcastle Falcons
Northampton Saints
Sale Sharks
Worcester Warriors
No Club