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Leicester’s Parling to make England debut

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Leicester lock Geoff Parling will make his first appearance for England in a strong lineup named by coach Martin Johnson for Tuesday’s rugby international against the Australian Barbarians.


Parling helped the Leicester Tigers win this year’s Guinness Premiership final against Saracens and is rewarded with his first senior match for his country.


Harlequins backrower Chris Robshaw will captain an England team which includes the all-Bath front row of David Flatman, Lee Mears and David Wilson.


“Chris has played well for Harlequins for the last three years.


He got capped with us last year and it is nice to get him into a position of leadership,” England coach Martin Johnson said.

 

“Chris is a sensible, mature guy and a smart player.”

Flyhalf Charlie Hodgson and lock Dave Atwood have been named to make their second successive starts in the England jersey.


Test veteran Ugo Monye and Matt Banahan will line up on the wing, while Olly Barkley was selected at inside center and Richard Wigglesworth at scrum-half.


“There are other guys with experience who will play their part in the leadership -Lee Mears, Charlie Hodgson, Richard Wigglesworth, Olly Barkley -but Chris is a good fit in that back row as captain,” Johnson said.


While the match will not count toward England caps, Johnson said the game is a chance for players to press their claims for test selection.


“This team represents England,” said Johnson. “We are England.


We are playing against an Australia A side. I told the guys at the start, this is not a (second-string) Saxons game.”


England:


Delon Armitage, Matt Banahan, Mathew Tait, Olly Barkley, Ugo Monye, Charlie Hodgson, Richard Wigglesworth, Dan Ward-Smith, Hendre Fourie, Chris Robshaw (captain), Geoff Parling, Dave Attwood, David Wilson, Lee Mears, David Flatman.


Reserves: George Chuter, Paul Doran-Jones, Courtney Lawes, Joe Worsley, Paul Hodgson, Shane Geraghty, Dominic Waldouck.


Australian Barbarians:


James O’Connor, Nick Cummins, Will Chambers, Anthony Faingaa, Lachie Turner, Berrick Barnes, Josh Valentine, Stephen Hoiles, Matt Hodgson, Ben McCalman, Mark Chisholm, Mitchell Chapman, Laurie Weeks, Huia Edmonds, Pekahou Cowan


Reserves: Damien Fitzpatrick, James Slipper, Kane Douglas, Pat McCutcheon, Luke Burgess, Kurtley Beale, Peter Hynes.

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