Ashton to start for England, no Tuilagi for All Blacks showdown

By Peter Thompson 8 November 2018 4
Ashton to start for England, no Tuilagi for All Blacks showdown

Chris Ashton will make his first England start for over four years against New Zealand, but Manu Tuilagi will not feature at Twickenham on Saturday.

Wing Ashton, whose last Test start came against the All Blacks in June 2014, replaces Jack Nowell in one of three changes to the starting line-up following the victory over South Africa last weekend.

Sam Underhill comes in at open-side flanker in the absence of Tom Curry, who will miss the remainder of the November internationals due to an ankle injury.

Prop Ben Moon gets the nod, with Alec Hepburn dropping to the bench after starting the 12-11 win over the Springboks.

There is no place in the squad for centre Tuilagi, who missed out last Saturday due to a groin strain but returned to training this week.

Fit-again lock Courtney Lawes has been named among the replacements, so Zach Mercer will play no part against the world champions.

England: Elliot Daly, Chris Ashton, Henry Slade, Ben Te'o, Jonny May, Owen Farrell (co-captain) Ben Youngs; Ben Moon, Dylan Hartley (co-captain), Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Brad Shields, Sam Underhill, Mark Wilson.

Replacements: Jamie George, Alec Hepburn, Harry Williams, Charlie Ewels, Courtney Lawes, Danny Care, George Ford, Jack Nowell.

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Peter Thompson