QBE Internationals: England expected to make one change for All Blacks clash
Last Updated: 13/11/13 11:19pm
Dan Cole: Set for recall to England starting line-up
England head coach Stuart Lancaster is expected to make just one change to his team to face New Zealand when he unveils the line-up on Thursday.
Dan Cole is expected to return at tighthead in place of David Wilson, and provided Joe Marler is fit to start Saturday's Twickenham showdown at loosehead, England will otherwise be unchanged from the XV which started against Argentina last week.
Marler needs to complete his recovery from concussion and England's medical staff are confident the Harlequins prop will do so.
If he is not available then Wasps' Matt Mullan will win just his second cap in the front row.
Alex Corbisiero was earmarked for loosehead prop after playing the second half of the 31-12 victory over Argentina only for his knee injury to flare up.
The absence of Mako Vunipola with a knee complaint has forced Lancaster to turn to his fourth choice in the position in Mullan, who won his only cap as a replacement in the 2010 Six Nations.
Dylan Hartley's man-of-the-match performance against the Pumas appears to have cemented his place in the starting XV.
Forwards coach Graham Rowntree suggests Hartley's display of power at Twickenham has placed him on course to win his 50th cap against New Zealand.
"I was delighted for Dylan. That was one of his best performances in an England shirt. He took his chance," Rowntree said.
"With the emergence of Tom Youngs he's not had a huge amount of game time over the last year. He took his chance very well."
With Marland Yarde and Christian Wade ruled out respective hip and hamstring problems, Chris Ashton and Ben Foden will retain their places on the wings amid an unchanged backline.
New Zealand are seeking to complete their 13th victory in 13 Tests this year and avenge their only defeat in 33 games - last autumn's record 38-21 loss at Twickenham.
"Last year was a famous victory for us and the game at the weekend is a great challenge for this group of players. It's exactly what we need at this point in time. The lads are super excited about it and looking forward to it"
"Last year was a famous victory for us and the game at the weekend is a great challenge for this group of players," Rowntree said.
"It's exactly what we need at this point in time. The lads are super excited about it and looking forward to it.
"We respect their record, but we'll be going full out to spoil it. We'll have to go to new levels this weekend. We've shown glimpses of being able to do that.
"We won't be daunted. This is Twickenham, our stadium. We have lots to prove. If you can't get yourselves up for opposition like this, you'd never get up for a game in your life. They'll be up for it."
Watch the England team announcement on Sky Sports News on Thursday from 10.45am.