Rokoduguni handed England debut

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

Winger Semesa Rokoduguni will make his debut for England on Saturday after being named in the starting line-up for the Test match with New Zealand.

The Bath flyer is the only debutant in Stuart Lancaster's starting 15, with fellow uncapped duo George Kruis and Anthony Watson amongst the replacements.

However, it is Fijian Rokoduguni's inclusion that will grad all the headlines, the 27-year-old having only been a professional rugby player for the last two years.

The winger, who was a lance corporal in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, has starred in the Premiership for Bath this season and will hope he can transfer his form to the international scene this weekend.

"I am delighted for Roko. It's great to be able to give him this opportunity," said England boss Lancaster.

"The same with Anthony Watson and George Kruis and I am sure they will contribute should they come off the bench."

Another Bath star, Kyle Eastmond, also gets the nod to start, partnering Brad Barritt at centre, while team mates Dave Attwod and David Wilson have been included in the pack.

Northampton trio Dylan Hartley, Tom Wood and Courtney Lawes, Harlequins duo Joe Marler and the captain Chris Robshaw and Saracens No 8 Billy Vunipola complete the forwards.

Mike Brown gets the nod at full-back, with Gloucester's Johhny May on the opposite wing to Rokoduguni.

Owen Farrell and Danny Care make up the half-back pairing as England look to record just a third win in 46 meetings with New Zealand .

Lancaster's men are 12/5 to beat the world champions, with the tourists 1/3. England can be backed at 1/1 with a seven point handicap.

Meanwhile, the All Blacks have opted to leave fly-half Dan Carter out of their squad as he continues his recovery from injury but Sonny Bill Williams starts at centre after returning from a stint in rugby league.

England: Brown; Rokoduguni, Barritt, Eastmond, May; Farrell, Care; Marler, Hartley, Wilson, Attwood, Lawes, Wood, Robshaw, Vunipola.

New Zealand:  I Dagg; B Smith, C Smith, S B Williams, J Savea; A Cruden, A Smith; W Crockett, D Coles, O Franks, B Retallick, S Whitelock, J Kaino, R McCaw (capt), K Read.

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