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Harrison given England rugby debut v Wales

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/05/2016

England will give Teimana Harrison his debut in Sunday's Test against Wales at Twickenham after selecting the New Zealand-born back-rower in place of Chris Robshaw.

Harrison is picked at blindside flanker in a straight swap for Robshaw, who is also omitted from the bench after being rested by coach Eddie Jones ahead of next month's three-Test tour of Australia.

The 23-year-old Harrison has enjoyed a stellar season at Northampton, where his determination, athleticism and skill at the breakdown have propelled him into the England team.

"Teimana gets a start at six, which is a great chance for him to make a statement ahead of the tour to Australia," Jones said.

"Teimana is a kid from a poor family in Rotorua, New Zealand. He came to England with nothing and got a run in the academy at Northampton where he was playing for 6000 a year," head coach Jones said.

"He's a streetfighter. Rugby is the most physical game in the world and you need guys who are prepared to put their bodies on the line and be physically aggressive."

Jack Clifford wins his first start in six caps at No.8 with James Haskell's presence at openside completing the back row.

England: Mike Brown, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Luther Burrell, Marland Yarde, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Jack Clifford, James Haskell, Teimana Harrison, Courtney Lawes, Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley (capt), Matt Mullan. Res: Tommy Taylor, Ellis Genge, Paul Hill, Dave Attwood, Matt Kvesic, Danny Care, Ollie Devoto, Elliot Daly.

Wales: Liam Williams, George North, Scott Williams, Jamie Roberts, Hallam Amos, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Taulupe Faletau, Dan Lydiate (capt), Ross Moriarty, Alun-Wyn Jones, Jake Ball, Samson Lee, Scott Baldwin, Rob Evans. Res: Kristian Dacey, Gethin Jenkins, Rhodri Jones, Josh Turnbull, James King, Lloyd Williams, Rhys Priestland, Gareth Anscombe.

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