Dowson leads Saxons in opener
June 7, 2010
Phil Dowson leads the Saxons © Getty Images
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)
"Some people have it from day one and Brian did." Tom Hamilton talks to the two players who made their Ireland debuts alongside Brian O'Driscoll back in June 1999
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"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