Rugby Union: The four new boys given their chance against Australia

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The Independent Online
Spencer Brown

Age: 24. Club: Richmond.

A Royal Marine bandsman, which explains the phenomenal lung-power he displayed during the English Rugby Partnership XV's tense battle with the All Blacks in Bristol last November. Brown's famous double tackle, one on either side of the pitch in the space of 12 seconds, launched him into red rose contention and his snappy finishing did the rest.

Steve Ravenscroft

Age: 27. Club: Saracens.

With Michael Lynagh on his left shoulder and Philippe Sella on his right, Ravenscroft was always likely to learn a thing or two. His education is now complete, thanks to an error-free season at Vicarage Road in which his tackling and ball-retention were a striking feature of Sarries' rise to fame and fortune. He is a hard nut.

Ben Sturnham

Age: 24. Club: Saracens:

A physical specimen of Lomuesque proportions, Sturnham's sprint times also bear comparison with Auckland's biggest export. Saracens insist he is not yet the finished article - "he still has to learn to think his way through a game," says Mark Evans, the Londoners' director of rugby - but in a big man's game, Sturnham has size on his side.

Pat Sanderson

Age: 20. Club: Sale.

A real dark horse. Sanderson impressed some good judges with his energetic contributions at England A level last season and John Mitchell, who knows a thing or two about back row play, thinks he has the ability to prosper at the top level. He will have to play out of his socks, though; Neil Back and Richard Hill will soon be on the warpath.

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