Chuter to skipper Saxons

Watch England Saxons v Ireland A live on Sky Sports 1 from 7pm on Saturday

Last Updated: 12/06/08 5:23pm

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Chuter: skipper

Chuter: skipper

Sky Bet

England Saxons head coach Steve Bates has made five changes to his side ahead of Saturday's Barclays Churchill Cup match against Ireland A.

Leicester hooker George Chuter will captain the side, which also shows two positional changes from that which beat the USA 64-10 last Saturday.

Up front, Bristol prop Alex Clarke replaces the injured Nick Lloyd, whilst Chris Jones switches from the flank to lock.

A new look back row sees Jordan Crane moving to blindside flanker to make way for Tom Guest at number eight.

Armitage debut

Meanwhile, Steff Armitage makes his first start for the Saxons in place of Will Skinner, who captained the side last time out.

The only changes to the backline that ran in eight tries against the USA come with Ugo Monye (Harlequins) and Nick Abendanon (Bath) coming in on the wing and at full-back respectively.

Bates said: "With Nick Lloyd going home, there were a couple of changes forced on us.

"We've tried to keep the balance between having some continuity from the USA game and making sure that we give some more players an opportunity.

"But we've resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes. There are some elements where we've tried to get things right for this opposition, a case of horses for courses."

Victory against the Irish second string will secure a place in next Saturday's final against Scotland A in Chicago and the chance for the Saxons to defend their title.

England Saxons: 15-Nick Abendanon (Bath); 14-Ugo Monye (Harlequins), 13-Ollie Smith (Leicester), 12-Anthony Allen (Gloucester), 11-Matt Banahan (Bath); 10-Ryan Lamb (Gloucester), 9-Paul Hodgson (London Irish); 1-Alex Clarke (Bristol), 2-George Chuter (Leicester, capt), 3-Dave Wilson (Newcastle), 4-George Skivington (Wasps), 5-Chris Jones (Sale), 6-Jordan Crane (Leicester), 7-Steffon Armitage (London Irish), 8-Tom Guest (Harlequins).
Replacements: Andy Titterrell (Gloucester), Jack Forster (Gloucester), Richard Blaze (Leicester), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Lee Dickson (Newcastle), Adrian Jarvis (Harlequins), Ben Foden (Sale).

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