England eye return to winning ways
June 18, 2012
Christian Wade crossed for a hat-trick in last week's victory over SA Barbarians (South) © Getty Images
England's second string will attempt to make it two wins from their two mid-week outings when they tackle SA Barbarians (North) in Potchefstroom on Tuesday.
Stuart Lancaster's fringe players survived an early blip to power to a 54-26 victory over the Barbarians (North) last week and will be confident of repeating that success at Profert Olen Park.
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.
The Pumas, relegated from the Currie Cup's Premier Division last year, dominate the line-up that will be coached by Mpumalanga mentor Jimmy Stonehouse.
Barbarians - Player to Watch: Winger Danwel Demas has Springboks 7s experience and also PRO12 experience with Aironi and will be hoping to profit from what ball the Barbarians can secure.
Barbarians - Team News: Pumas centre JW Jonker captains a side that also features 12 of his provincial team-mates including Demas, fullback JC Roos, fly-half Coenie van Wyk, scrum-half Shaun Venter and hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld.
England - Player to Watch: Christian Wade bagged a hat-trick against the Barbarians last week - can he maintain that rich vein of form?
England - Team News: Ugo Monye will make his first appearance of the tour after recovering from a tight hamstring. George Robson will once again skipper the side that shows six personnel changes from the side that started last week's game with Monye being joined in the back-line by Lee Dickson at scrum-half in place of Danny Care, Nick Abendanon taking over from Alex Goode at fullback and Christian Wade switching to the right wing for George Lowe. In the pack, Tom Youngs gets his first tour start at hooker instead of Joe Gray, as does Jamie Gibson for James Haskell, while Ben Morgan comes in at No.8 for Thomas Waldrom. Karl Dickson, fresh into the squad as an injury replacement for Ben Youngs, will be on the bench.
Key Battle: England's defence surprisingly leaked four tries against the Barbarians last week - expect a significant improvement as they attempt to shackle their rivals this time out.
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: Thomas Waldrom was named Man of the Match in last week's game and used it as a springboard to his first Test cap against the Springboks last weekend.
"We went out there to make it a good game. We did quite well, especially coming from the first division playing at this level and a few tries could have gone or way but instead they scored from those chances. That is Barbarians rugby for you." - SA Barbarians coach Jimmy Stonehouse reflects on his side's defeat last week
"There are still selection decisions to be made for Saturday but the players' focus will be on putting in a strong cohesive team performance and building on the positives from last week, but also learning the lessons." - England head coach Stuart Lancaster throws down the gauntlet to his player
Prediction: Expect another brave showing from the scratch Barbarians side but a much-changed England side to have too much power and pace.
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