Webber to captain England against Barbarians
May 24, 2013
Bath hooker Rob Webber will lead a youthful side against the Barbarians in their non-Test clash at Twickenham on Sunday © Getty Images
Bath hooker Rob Webber will captain England for the first time against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday.
Webber leads a youthful side featuring Gloucester-bound flanker Matt Kvesic and London Irish winger Marland Yarde who will be pulling on a senior shirt for the first time. Wasps wing Christian Wade, who picked up an awards double earlier this week, starts on the right wing and is the only other uncapped player in the starting XV. England's starting line-up for the non-Test clash contains nine players aged 24 or under.
The replacements for the non-cap game include five more making their first appearances at this level in Bath centre Kyle Eastmond, lock Kearnan Myall, Exeter scrum-half Haydn Thomas, Sale prop Henry Thomas and Wasps No.8 Billy Vunipola.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster, who was unable to select the players on British & Irish Lions duty and those involved in Saturday's Premiership final, said: "We've selected a young and exciting side and this is a great opportunity for these players who have shone in the Aviva Premiership this season to step up in front of passionate home crowd at Twickenham Stadium.
"Taking on a very experienced Barbarians team is the first challenge they face this summer with matches in Uruguay and Argentina to follow and this sequence of games is a key part of our development as a team. Rob Webber finished the season strongly with Bath and I know his leadership qualities well. I am sure he'll show the way backed up by the other senior players in the team."
Reflecting on his selection, Lancaster added: "There is some exciting talent there. Freddie and Billy, with their Gloucester connection, should allow the team to play. Having Billy at 12 opens our game up and we want to get Kyle an opportunity at 15 as well because he is a great footballer and an extremely well-balanced runner.
"We have always given our teams the license to play running rugby but you have to understand that to win big games you can't run the ball from all areas of the field. You have to kick at some point but it is about doing that in the right place at the right time. Certainly we want to play."
England face the Barbarians before embarking on a three-match tour, which starts in Uruguay against a combined South American XV and then two Tests against Argentina.
England: Mike Brown (Harlequins); Christian Wade (London Wasps), Jonathan Joseph (London Irish), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Marland Yarde (London Irish); Freddie Burns (Gloucester), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens); Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Rob Webber (Bath), David Wilson (Bath), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Dave Attwood (Bath), Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Matt Kvesic (Worcester Warriors), Ben Morgan (Gloucester)
Replacements: David Paice (London Irish), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks), Kearnan Myall (Unattached), Billy Vunipola (London Wasps), Haydn Thomas (Exeter Chiefs), Jonny May (Gloucester), Kyle Eastmond (Bath)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton