Gloucester's Saxons pair to face Wolfhounds
GLOUCESTER props Nick Wood and Shaun Knight have been named in the England Saxons’ match day squad for the trip to the Ireland Wolfhounds tomorrow night (7.35pm).
Wood will start at loosehead in Galway while tight-head Knight will make his debut for the side if he comes off the replacements bench.
Five players will make their debuts including Wasps' Elliot Daly and Leicester’s George Ford plus Saracens trio Joel Tomkins, George Kruis and Will Fraser.
Knight, Harlequins hooker Rob Buchanan and Bath’s rugby league convert Kyle Eastmond will make their first appearance at this level after being named among the replacements.
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Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers) will captain the side after helping steer his club into the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup last weekend.
Crane is one of six full internationals in the team along with Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors), Paul Doran-Jones (Northampton Saints), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins) and Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens).
Head Coach Jon Callard said: “This is a dynamic young side with an average age of less than 24 and the players have a chance to show that they can play a major part of the future of England Rugby over the coming years.
"The blend of forward power and pace in the back line makes it an exciting one to be involved with.
“We’re facing an experienced Irish side in this opening game and the challenge is to step up and deliver a high quality performance in front of a passionate crowd in Galway.”
After facing the Wolfhounds away from home the Saxons return to England to take on Scotland A at Newcastle on Friday, February 1 (8pm).
England Saxons: Elliot Daly (London Wasps) ; Christian Wade (London Wasps), Joel Tomkins (Saracens), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins), Tom Biggs (Bath Rugby); George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens); Nick Wood (Gloucester Rugby), Joe Gray (Harlequins), Paul Doran-Jones (Northampton Saints); Graham Kitchener (Leicester Tigers), George Robson (Harlequins); George Kruis (Saracens), Will Fraser (Saracens), Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers, captain). Replacements: Rob Buchanan (Harlequins), Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors), Shaun Knight (Gloucester Rugby), Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers), Jamie Gibson (London Irish), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), George Lowe (Harlequins), Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby).