England turn to youth for dead rubber

first_img In what could be his final game in charge Stuart Lancaster has rung the changes in his England team, naming a new-look backline to take on Uruguay.The dead rubber in Manchester should be a sombre affair, as England try to come to terms with their elimination from the tournament, but Lancaster has unsurprisingly freshened things up.While Chris Robshaw continues as skipper, there are eight personnel changes and a further positional change from the England team that was beaten by Australia on Saturday.Danny Care and George Ford will form a new-look half-back pairing, with Owen Farrell shifting out to inside centre.He will link up with Henry Slade, who finally gets his first taste of the tournament, as does fellow Exeter Chief Jack Nowell, who replaces the injured Jonny May.First game for Henry Slade at the tournament. Photo: Getty Images.Alex Goode is preferred to Mike Brown at full-back, with Anthony Watson the only back to start in the same position he did against the Wallabies.Up front Mako Vunipola replaces the much-maligned Joe Marler at loosehead, while the other two changes come in the back row. A completely new backline will have to create a spark as England aim to finish a miserable tournament on a positive note LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS James Haskell starts in place of Tom Wood at blindside flanker, while Nick Easter starts what will almost certainly be his final Test at number eight.Nick Easter gets his chance at number eight. Photo: Getty Images.There are a couple of new faces on the bench with the inclusion of Jamie George and David Wilson, but there is no place in the 23 for Sam Burgess.While it’s difficult to read too much into what is essentially a meaningless game against arguably the weakest team in the tournament, Lancaster has at least picked a more expansive backline.The issues in the back row remain, but given the personnel available to him, there was nothing that could be done about that.And the fact that England won’t be facing David Pocock and Michael Hooper will also help in that regard. Lancaster might not be the man to take England forward, but this team could be a starting point for what the team may look like when the Six Nations rolls around.England: Alex Goode, Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Owen Farrell, Jack Nowell, George Ford, Danny Care, Mako Vunipola, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Geoff Parling, James Haskell, Chris Robshaw (c), Nick EasterReplacements: Jamie George, Joe Marker, David Wilson, George Kruis, Tom Wood, Richard Wigglesworth, Jonathan Joseph, Mike Brownlast_img read more