June International Tours

Hatley to lead Saxons into battle



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London Irish prop Neal Hatley will captain England Saxons in their Churchill Cup opener against the USA at Edgeley Park, Stockport on Friday.

Hatley leads a side that also includes exciting young backs Ryan Lamb and Shane Geraghty, while Jordan Crane lines up in the number eight shirt after being released by Leicester from their Heineken Cup final preparations.

Geraghty and Saracens back Dan Scarbrough are the only senior England internationals selected as Saxons look for a winning start to the Churchill Cup campaign.

“Despite our youth and lack of international experience, this is a side with a great deal of Guinness Premiership experience,” Saxons coach Jim Mallinder said.

“Many, like Neal Hatley, Kevin Sorrell, Dan Scarbrough, Delon Armitage, Topsy Ojo and Ryan Lamb, have been regulars for their clubs throughout the season and have performed consistently well at that level.

“Like us, all the players are excited by the challenge of coming together to take on an experienced side like the USA.”

And of 37-year-old Hatley’s appointment as skipper, Mallinder added: “He is vastly experienced and, following another very successful season at London Irish, is well respected by all the squad.

“His experience and leadership will be crucial to us on the pitch.”

The tournament also features Canada, New Zealand Maori, Ireland A and Scotland A, culminating in finals day on June 2.

England Saxons: D Armitage (London Irish); D Scarbrough (Saracens), K Sorrell (Saracens), S Geraghty (London Irish), T Ojo (London Irish); R Lamb (Gloucester), R Wigglesworth (Sale Sharks); N Hatley (London Irish, capt), D Paice (London Irish), J Brooks (Northampton), R Blaze (Worcester), J Evans (Harlequins), P Dowson (Newcastle), W Skinner (Harlequins), J Crane (Leicester).
Replacements (from): C Brooker (Bath), J Forster (Gloucester), N Kennedy (London Irish), T Mercey (Saracens), K Roche (London Irish), D Seymour (Saracens), M Thompson (Newcastle), B Woods (Newcastle), L Dickson (Newcastle), P Diggin (Northampton), A Jarvis (Harlequins), N Mordt (London Irish).


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