Loose forward James Haskell has been recalled to England’s starting team after an absence of 12 months for the opening match of their three-test series against New Zealand at Eden Park on Saturday.
The 29-year-old Haskell will start at blindside flanker for Stuart Lancaster’s side, who have been shorn of several of their first-choice players due to the late arrival of 16 members of the squad after the English Premiership final at the weekend.
Just seven of Saturday’s line-up started against Italy in their final Six Nations match in March, though the return of British and Irish Lions players Geoff Parling and Manu Tuilagi will undoubtedly strengthen the team.
“It’s great to welcome back Geoff Parling and James Haskell who have a lot of experience,” Lancaster said in a statement.
Gloucester’s Freddie Burns will start at flyhalf with the recalled Danny Cipriani on the bench. Regular flyhalf Owen Farrell was one of the late arrivals in New Zealand.
Inside centre Billy Twelvetrees was ruled out with an ankle injury and would be replaced by Bath’s Kyle Eastmond, who along with Tuilagi should provide All Blacks Conrad Smith and Ma’a Nonu with a challenge in the centres.
“Billy Twelvetrees is recovering well from his ankle injury and should be available for the second test,” Lancaster added.
“It’s now a good opportunity for Kyle Eastmond to build on what he achieved in Argentina last summer.”
Scrumhalf Danny Care was named to start, though British media reported he was also under an injury cloud after picking up a shoulder injury at training.
Lancaster named two uncapped players, hooker Joe Gray and outside back Chris Pennell on an inexperienced bench.
Replacement scrumhalf Ben Youngs (35) has accumulated more caps than the other seven players combined, who have a total of 33.
ENGLAND: 15-Mike Brown, 14-Marland Yarde, 13-Manu Tuilagi, 12-Kyle Eastmond, 11-Jonny May, 10-Freddie Burns, 9-Danny Care; 8-Ben Morgan, 7-Chris Robshaw (captain), 6-James Haskell, 5-Geoff Parling, 4-Joe Launchbury, 3-David Wilson, 2-Rob Webber, 1-Joe Marler
Replacements: 16-Joe Gray, 17-Matt Mullan, 18-Henry Thomas, 19-Dave Attwood, 20-Tom Johnson, 21-Ben Youngs, 22-Danny Cipriani, 23-Chris Pennell