Rugby Union: Youngs set for England debut against Fiji

Stuart Lancaster
Stuart Lancaster

LEICESTER hooker Tom Youngs will make his England debut against Fiji on Saturday as boss Stuart Lancaster embarks on his autumn internationals campaign.

After a sensational first 12 months as head coach, Stuart Lancaster is hoping to “put down a marker” for his young team in the autumn QBE Internationals, in which England face the best southern hemisphere teams.

The former Wakefield RFC back rower and Kettlethorpe High School teacher led England to a successful RBS Six Nations campaign last winter and took plenty of positives out of the June tour of South Africa, despite losing two and drawing one of the three tests.

However, it will be in the coming weeks that Lancaster will face his next big examination.

He will return to the international spotlight in Saturday’s game against Fiji at Twickenham, followed by the mouth-watering home clashes with Australia, South Africa and New Zealand on successive Saturdays.

The England boss is not afraid of giving uncapped players a chance to shine on the big stage and the Fiji game is no different.

Youngs, brother of scrum-half Ben, will start while Wasps lock Joe Launchbury and Saracens prop Mako Vunipola are set to make their debuts from the bench.

The former Wakefield teacher is looking forward to seeing another England display full of promise, saying: “Saturday is a great opportunity for us to put a marker down and deliver a quality performance.

“It’s great to have young players such as Mako and Joe get their opportunities and we are excited about the potential of the squad.”

England, skippered by Chris Robshaw, will take on Australia on November 17, South Africa on November 24 and New Zealand on December 1.

England squad v Fiji: Alex Goode (Saracens), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Toby Flood (Leicester), Danny Care (Harlequins), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Tom Youngs (Leicester), Dan Cole (Leicester), Tom Palmer (Wasps), Geoff Parling (Leicester), Tom Johnson (Exeter), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester).

Replacements: David Paice (London Irish), David Wilson (Bath), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Tom Wood (Northampton), Ben Youngs (Leicester), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins).

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