So rumours suggest Kruis and Ford to return for England at the expense of Lawes and Slade. NZ to start Barrett at 6, move Savea to 7 and Cane to the bench in order to attempt to repeat the second half line-out carnage they inflicted on England in the Autumn. We shall find out soon enough…
In time honoured fashion it seems that the knives are already out for St Joe of Ireland with articles from Necewa and Trimble criticising the rigidity and conservativeness of his coaching.
Adam Beard still nowhere to be seen and Lane has been called up not because he covers wing and centre but apparently because he’s a bit of a laugh.
England: Daly; Watson, Tuilagi, Farrell (capt), May; Ford, Youngs; M Vunipola, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Lawes, Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola.
Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Marler, Cole, Kruis, Wilson, Heinz, Slade, Joseph
New Zealand: Beauden Barrett; Sevu Reece, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, George Bridge; Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, Kieran Read (capt).
Replacements: Dane Coles, Ofa Tuungafasi, Angus Ta’avao, Patrick Tuipulotu, Sam Cane, TJ Perenara, Sonny Bill Williams, Jordie Barrett.