Slater leads England against Crusaders
Tom Hamilton in Christchurch
June 16, 2014
Uncapped Ed Slater will lead out England on Tuesday © Getty Images
Ed Slater will captain the England side against the Crusaders in their match in Christchurch on Tuesday evening.
Slater, who is yet to win a cap for England, will lead a team featuring three other players who will be making their senior debuts for England: Gloucester's Henry Trinder, Sale's Michael Paterson and Bath's Anthony Watson.
With Kyle Eastmond absent from the side, the general feeling is that he will play some role in Saturday's Test against the All Blacks but the message from the England camp is that there is still plenty of to play for regarding Test selection as they wait on the fitness of four players who started the match in Dunedin.
One notable selection is Danny Cipriani at fly-half who gets the nod ahead of Stephen Myler while Jonny May, who started the first Test in Auckland, is on the bench with Watson and Ben Foden preferred on the flanks.
"This is a really important match for us in terms of the development of our squad," England coach Stuart Lancaster said. "We wanted this game to test ourselves against a top Super 15 side and with a large squad out here we are hoping to create opportunities for everyone to lay down a marker on this tour. We can see by how they have trained that they can't wait to pull on an England shirt tomorrow.
"Ed is a natural leader who has captained Leicester well and I am sure he will do the same with this England side. We are treating this like an additional Test and I know the Crusaders will be highly motivated to put in a good performance on the back of their Super 15 form."
And Slater is hoping a win in Christchurch will give the England squad renewed belief ahead of their final Test in Hamilton on Saturday.
"We're under no illusions, we've lost the last two games and this is a chance for us to lift the spirit in the camp," Slater said. "We've been close in the last two Test games and guys are really eager to make their mark in this game. Our focus first and foremost is to play well as a team, but we definitely need to get that win."
England squad: A Goode (Saracens); B Foden (Northampton), H Trinder (Gloucester), B Barritt (Saracens), A Watson (Bath); D Cipriani (Sale), L Dickson (Northampton); A Waller (Northampton), J Gray (Harlequins), H Thomas (Sale), E Slater (Leicester, capt), D Attwood (Bath), J Haskell (Wasps), M Kvesic (Gloucester), T Johnson (Exeter).
Replacements: D Ward (Harlequins), N Catt (Bath), K Sinckler (Harlequins), M Paterson (Sale), R Wigglesworth (Saracens), S Myler (Northampton), J May (Gloucester), C Pennell (Worcester).
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Tom Hamilton is the Associate Editor of ESPNscrum.
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