England second string out to catch the eye
June 12, 2012
Scrum-half Danny Care is poised for a return to England colours in Kimberley © Getty Images
England's will be confident of notching their first tour success when they tackle the SA Barbarians (South) in Kimberley on Wednesday.
Stuart Lancaster's fringe players will have the chance to impress at the GWK Stadium and force their way into the reckoning for Saturday's clash with South Africa at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. England's tour kicked off with a 22-17 defeat to the Springboks in Durban last weekend.
Many international players have previously featured for the Barbarians including France's Philippe Sella, Argentina's Hugo Porta and Ireland's Fergus Slattery, but on this occasion the side will be made up of players from the second tier of the Currie Cup competition. They will be coached by Mpumalanga Pumas mentor Jimmy Stonehouse.
It is the first of two mid-week clashes with a second match against the SA Barbarians (North) set to follow in Potchefstroom ahead of the 3rd Test clash between England and South Africa in Port Elizabeth on June 23.
Barbarians - Player to Watch: Bok 7s star Cornal Hendricks racked up 20 tries during the most recent HSBC Sevens World Series competition and will be a key attacking weapon for the Barbarians.
Barbarians - Team News: EP Kings centre Wayne Stevens will captain a side that also features his club-mate Mpho Mbiyozo at openside. The team includes a total of eight players from Boland, who won the Currie Cup First Division title last year, and a seven from beaten finalists the Kings. In addition there are three each from SWD and Border and one from the Pumas.
England - Player to Watch: Scrum-half Danny Care will surely be out to impress in his return to England colours. The Quins No.9 saw his Rugby World Cup hopes dashed by injury before he was dropped ahead of the Six Nations due to a series of off-field incidents.
England - Team News: It's all change for England following the defeat to the Boks. Matt Mullan and Paul Doran Jones will pack down either side of Joe Gray in the front row with skipper George Robson and Graham Kitchener packing down behind. James Haskell, Carl Fearns and Thomas Waldrom make up the back-row. Charlie Hodgson and Danny Care will pull the strings, Anthony Allen and Jordan Turner-Hall feature in midfield with a back three of Alex Goode, George Lowe and Christian Wade providing the firepower. David Strettle was meant to start on the wing but Lowe was a late addition with England citing Saturday's Test as the reason behind the late change.
Key Battle: Both sides are packed with pace so if the game opens up then expect both sets of wingers to get plenty of ball.
Trivia: Founded in 1960, the SA Barbarians were the first multi-racial South African rugby team to tour outside the country when it visited the United Kingdom in 1979.
Stats: Following this game, only two members of England's 44-man squad will have not seen any action - winger Ugo Monye and prop Alex Corbisiero.
"This game is one way we have identified to revive the [Barbarians] club and to enable it to re-establish its position as a contributor to rugby in South Africa." - Saru's chief executive Jurie Roux
"There is nothing better as a coach than working with players on the training field or judging them and working with them at games, seeing their reaction at full-time or half-time and playing in different environments" - England coach Stuart Lancaster
Prediction: A strong England side should ensure the tourists open their account on tour and claim some much-needed momentum ahead of the second Test with the Springboks on Saturday.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor
Red cards, uncontested scrums, end-of-season wobbles and schoolboy errors - the Monday Maul looks back over the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures includes puffed players, dismissed players and training in the snow