Care ruled out of first Test

June 06, 2014
Rugby Union - International Rugby - Bet Now at Bet365

England flanker James Haskell insists that New Zealand are beatable and hopes his experience in the country will aid their chances in Saturday's first Test at Eden Park in Auckland.

The London Wasps back-rower plied his trade for the Highlanders in Super Rugby for a season, gaining vital experience in the southern hemisphere.

However, the 29-year-old returned to Britain in 2012 with Wasps to try and win his place back in the Red Rose squad.

Although Haskell has rarely been involved over the last two years, injuries and the Premiership final has allowed him the chance to tour down under and start the first Test.

He said: "It's the greatest honour you can have to represent your country. Stuart [Lancaster] and his coaches have worked very hard to create a very, very competitive environment which thrives on high standards.

"I'm just very excited to be back in the mix, to fight it out with the guys, learn from these coaches and go to the homeland of rugby. I obviously lived there for a period of time, rugby's a very different thing over there than it is here, people live and breathe it.

"When playing over there, I discovered Kiwi rugby players are human and they do make mistakes like everyone else.

"They are normal even though people would have you believe that they aren't. It's about not buying into any of that and not being fooled by the magic of the All Blacks."

He added: "If you've got any aspirations to discover what you're like as a player, playing against the best team in the world in their back yard, it doesn't get any better than that."

Danny Care will miss the first Test because of a shoulder injury, so Ben Youngs has been drafted in to form a half-back partnership with Leicester team-mate Freddie Burns and Northampton's Lee Dickson is promoted to the bench just three days after arriving in New Zealand.

Kick-off: 08:35 BST.

England: Mike Brown (Harlequins); Marland Yarde (Harlequins), Manu Tuilagi, (Leicester Tigers), Kyle Eastmond (Bath), Jonny May (Gloucester); Freddie Burns (Leicester Tigers), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers); Joe Marler (Harlequins), Rob Webber (Bath), David Wilson (Bath); Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers); James Haskell (Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), Ben Morgan (Gloucester).

Replacements: Joe Gray (Harlequins), Matt Mullan (London Wasps), Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks), Dave Attwood (Bath), Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Lee Dickson (Northampton), Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks), Chris Pennell (Worcester).

New Zealand: Israel Dagg; Ben Smith, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Cory Jane, Aaron Cruden, Aaron Smith; Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Tony Woodcock.

Replacements: Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Victor Vito, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Malakai Fekitoa.

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