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Harrison given England rugby debut v Wales

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/05/2016

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.

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

Dan Lydiate will captain Wales against the Six Nations champions.

Ospreys flanker Lydiate leads the team in the absence of flanker Sam Warburton, who is recovering from a shoulder injury suffered last month, although he is expected to be fit for Wales' opening Test clash with New Zealand on June 11 in Auckland.

Lydiate was skipper for Wales' final match of this season's Six Nations, when they posted a record win against Italy.

Welsh coach Warren Gatland has made five changes from the side beaten 25-21 by England 11 weeks ago, with starts for centre Scott Williams, winger Hallam Amos, halfback Rhys Webb, lock Jake Ball and flanker Ross Moriarty.

Lydiate moves from blindside to the openside position instead of Warburton, with Gloucester forward Moriarty wearing Wales' No.6.

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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