England heading into the unknown
November 6, 2008
The Pacific Islanders will be playing at Twickenham for the first time © Getty Images
Martin Johnson and England will be heading into the unknown when they meet the Pacific Islanders on Saturday, here are some handy facts ahead of an enticing first meeting:
* Martin Johnson takes charge of his first Test match as England's new team manager. He is the 13th England boss, not including Rob Andrew's caretaker stint in the summer.
* Johnson's England includes four starting debutants - the same number Clive Woodward picked in his first team selection for a 15-15 draw with Australia in November 1997.
* Steve Borthwick will captain England on home soil for the first time after leading the side against Italy in Rome and on the summer tour to New Zealand.
* Delon Armitage becomes the fourth different player in four successive Tests to wear the England full-back jersey, following Iain Balshaw (against Ireland), Mike Brown (New Zealand) and Mathew Tait (New Zealand).
* England have never played the Pacific Islanders.
* The Pacific Islanders are picked from the cream of Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. The alliance, formed in 2002, also includes the Cook Islands and Niue.
* The Pacific Islanders have toured every two years since 2004 but are yet to win a Test match.
* In 2004, the Islanders played Australia, New Zealand and South Africa before tackling the three Celtic nations in 2006.
* Saracens scrum-half Mosese Rauluni, Worcester prop Aleki Lutui, Leicester centre Seru Rabeni and Clermont Auvergne centre Seremai Bai have played in all six Pacific Islanders Tests.