RUGBY : England manager Martin Johnson has made four changes for Saturday’s Investec Challenge showdown with Argentina at Twickenham.
England manager Martin Johnson has made four changes for Saturday’s Investec Challenge showdown with Argentina at Twickenham.
Veteran Bath tighthead Duncan Bell, 35, will make his first Test start since 2005 after replacing David Wilson, who injured his neck in last weekend’s 18-9 defeat to Australia.
The other three changes are in direct response to England’s turgid performance against the Wallabies on with London Irish scrum-half Paul Hodgson awarded his first Test start in place of Danny Care. The Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley replaces Steve Thompson and James Haskell returns at number eight after both made impressive contributions off the bench.
Leicester’s Jordan Crane, who started at number eight last week, has dropped out of the squad altogether with Joe Worsley named among the replacements.
England’s injury crisis has opened the door for rookie prop Paul Doran-Jones to be named on the bench after just 266 minutes of Guinness Premiership experience for Gloucester.
Wilson joined senior tightheads Phil Vickery and Julian White on the sidelines last weekend while England are also without senior loosehead Andrew Sheridan.
England team to play Argentina: U Monye (Harlequins); M Cueto (Sale Sharks), D Hipkiss (Leicester), S Geraghty (Northampton), M Banahan (Bath); J Wilkinson (Toulon), P Hodgson (London Irish); T Payne (Wasps), D Hartley (Northampton), D Bell (Bath), L Deacon (Leicester), S Borthwick (Saracens, capt), T Croft (Leicester), L Moody (Leicester), J Haskell (Stade Francais).
Replacements: S Thompson (Brive), P Doran-Jones (Gloucester), C Lawes (Northampton), J Worsley (Wasps), D Care (Harlequins), A Goode (Brive), A Erinle (Biarritz).