Farrell in Carter face-off
Farrell in Carter face-offSHARE
Owen Farrell will start his first year-end international, when England face New Zealand at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.
The Saracens flyhalf, nominated as one of four finalists for IRB Player of the Year 2012, replaces Toby Flood as the only change to the XV that started against South Africa last week.
Farrell, who was surprisingly included Wednesday among the nominees for the prestigious IRB Player of the Year award, will go head-to-head against one of the other contenders for that award – All Black pivot Dan Carter.
New Zealand provided half the shortlist in former winners Richie McCaw and Carter, with recalled France flyhalf Frederic Michalak completing the quartet.
However, it is Farrell's nomination for the award that caused most debate.
With Farrell starting, Freddie Burns of Gloucester takes over from the injured Flood on the bench.
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) also make his series debut among the replacements instead of Mouritz Botha.
England coach Stuart Lancaster said his team is "charged up" to end the Kiwis' 20-match unbeaten run.
"We asked for a big response from the players, after [the loss to] Australia and we got one last Saturday against South Africa, although ultimately we were denied," Lancaster said.
"That frustration has been channelled this week and the whole squad has reacted with a determination to get a victory against the top team in the world.
"We are delighted that Courtney has got an opportunity. He has worked hard to get back in contention and what better game for him to make an impact. The same with Freddie Burns, who has had a great Premiership season so far, and we are looking forward to seeing him contribute should he get his chance."
England: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Mike Brown, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 David Wilson, 18 Mako Vunipola, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 James Haskell, 21 Danny Care, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Jonathan Joseph.
Date: Saturday, December 1
Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick-off: 14.30 (14.30 GMT; 03.30, Sunday, December 2 NZ time)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
TMO: Giulio De Santis (Italy)