Webber takes England lead
Fri, 24 May 2013 10:50
Bath hooker Rob Webber will captain England for the first time in their non-cap international against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday.
London Irish wing Marland Yarde and Gloucester-bound flanker Matt Kvesic will both make their first senior appearances for England.
Wasps flyer Christian Wade, voted the players' player of the season on Wednesday, is the only other uncapped player in the starting XV.
Wade did appear in the white English jumper in the same fixture last season where he scored a try and set another one up when England beat the Barbarians 57-26.
England coach Stuart Lancaster is without the Red Rose brigade's British and Irish Lions contingent as well as those players from Leicester and Northampton contesting the Premiership final at Twickenham on Saturday.
Nevertheless, the side features several players with Test experience. Loosehead prop Alex Corbisiero and No.8 Ben Morgan both return to England duty after injuries.
Corbisiero and Webber are joined in the front row by Bath tighthead David Wilson.
Joe Launchbury, England's player of the season, remains in the second row, with Bath's Dave Attwood rewarded for a fine season with a recall to the national team.
Gloucester's Freddie Burns, who also had his Six Nations cut short by injury, starts at outside-half with Richard Wigglesworth at scrumhalf.
Billy Twelvetrees, who impressed on Test debut against Scotland in February, starts at inside centre alongside Jonathan Joseph and Mike Brown returns to his favoured position of fullback.
"We've selected a young and exciting side and this is a great opportunity for these players who have shone in the Premiership this season to step up in front of passionate home crowd at Twickenham Stadium," Lancaster said.
"Taking on a very experienced Barbarians team is the first challenge they face this summer with matches in Uruguay and Argentina to follow and this sequence of games is a key part of our development as a team.
"Rob Webber finished the season strongly with Bath and I know his leadership qualities well. I am sure he'll show the way backed up by the other senior players in the team," Lancaster added.
The Barbarians, rugby union's most famous invitational team will provide the opposition for the Lions in their tour opener in Hong Kong on June 1 before the combined side face Australia in a three-Test series.
England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Marland Yarde; 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Joe Launchbury; 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Jonny May, 23 Kyle Eastmond.
Date: Sunday, May 26
Venue: Twickenham, London
Kick-off: 13.00 (12.00 GMT)
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)
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