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Churchill Cup 2010
Dowson leads Saxons in opener
Scrum.com
June 7, 2010
Northampton's Phil Dowson hands off Gloucester's Peter Buxton, Northampton v Gloucester, Anglo-Welsh Cup Final, Sixways, Worcester, England, March 21, 2010
Phil Dowson leads the Saxons © Getty Images
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England Saxons coach Stuart Lancaster has named a strong side for their opening Churchill Cup game against Russia on Wednesday.

Northampton back-row Phil Dowson will captain the side, who will want to flex their muscles against a Russian team that was defeated 39-22 by the USA in their opening game on Saturday. Dowson is joined in the back-row by Worcester's Tom Wood and Gloucester No.8 Luke Narraway, while his Saints team-mate Stephen Myler starts at fly-half alongside Micky Young of Newcastle.

Leicester's Anthony Allen links up with Northampton's Jon Clarke in midfield and there is an all-Test back three as Wasps' Tom Varndell and Gloucester's James Simpson-Daniel are named alongside fullback Nick Abendanon.

Duncan Bell, capped by England in November, starts at tight-head while Rob Vickers and Nick Wood complete the front-row. Promising London Irish prop Alex Corbisiero is primed for a Saxons debut off the bench.

England Saxons: N Abendanon (Bath); J Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester), J Clarke (Northampton Saints), A Allen (Leicester Tigers), T Varndell (London Wasps); S Myler (Northampton Saints), M Young (Newcastle Falcons); N Wood (Gloucester), R Vickers (Newcastle Falcons), D Bell (Bath), G Kitchener (Worcester Warriors), G Skivington (London Wasps), T Wood (Worcester Warriors), P Dowson (Northampton Saints), L Narraway (Gloucester)

Replacements: A Titterrell (Leeds Carnegie), A Corbiserio (London Irish), N Catt (Bath), K Myall (Leeds Carnegie), A Saull (Saracens), L Dickson (Northampton Saints), A Goode (Saracens)

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