Saxons tweak line-up for Canucks clash
June 16, 2011
Worcester's graham Kitchener returns in one of three changes to the Saxons side for the Sixways clash © Getty Images
Worcester duo Graham Kitchener and Miles Benjamin and Quins' Mike Brown return to the England Saxons side for Saturday's Churchill Cup Final showdown with Canada at Sixways.
Kitchener replaces the injured Bath lock David Attwood in the second row, Benjamin takes over from London Irish's Topsy Ojo on the wing and Brown is named at fullback instead of Saracens' Alex Goode in the only changes to the side that swept Tonga aside 41-14 last weekend. On the bench, Bath prop Nathan Catt stands by to make his first outing of the tournament.
Kitchener - making his final appearance as a Worcester Warriors player before joining Leicester Tigers this summer - and Goode are the only two survivors in the squad from last year's final when the Saxons beat Canada 38-18 at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
Head coach Stuart Lancaster said: "It's disappointing to lose Dave Attwood off the back of three good performances against the Barbarians and in the Churchill Cup but it's a great opportunity for Graham Kitchener. We're confident about what he can deliver having played so well against Italy A at Worcester earlier in the season.
"We've also got a lot of quality options in the backs and as the game progresses we envisage that the players coming off the bench will make a big impact. We're aware of the threat that Canada pose. They've played well in their wins against Italy A and Russia. They're a fit, well-coached and organised side who have spent a considerable amount of time together over the last few years. They will fight for the full 80 minutes so we've got a big challenge ahead of us to retain the trophy."
England Saxons: Mike Brown (Harlequins); Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby), Billy Twelvetrees (Leicester Tigers), Miles Benjamin (Worcester Warriors); Rory Clegg (Harlequins), Paul Hodgson (London Irish); Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors), David Paice (London Irish), Matt Stevens (Saracens), Mouritz Botha (Saracens), Graham Kitchener (Worcester Warriors), James Gaskell (Sale Sharks), Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers, captain)
Replacements: Joe Gray (Harlequins), Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby), Jamie Gibson (London Irish), Carl Fearns (Sale Sharks), Micky Young (Newcastle Falcons), Alex Goode (Saracens), Topsy Ojo (London Irish)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin