Rugby Union: Tourists start off with seconds first: Rowell opts for experiment

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The Independent Online
JACK ROWELL'S first team as England manager are a complete second-string selection for the opening match of the South African tour against the Orange Free State in Bloemfontein next Wednesday.

Rowell announced the side, who will be captained by the Wasps loose forward Dean Ryan, as the squad trained in searing heat in Durban, where they will play Natal next Saturday.

Then, Will Carling will lead a full-strength team against the province, who today compete in the final of the Super Tens tournament against Queensland.

By including none of the team who finished the Five Nations' Championship in March, Rowell has taken a chance on a defeat, but he needs to get his first team in action on Saturdays, of which there are only two before the first Test.

Rowell said: 'We have brought eight uncapped players on this tour and they are all included in this side. The tour is important to develop players and we wanted to give the newer men an early chance.

'The team has only 37 caps to its name and Stuart Barnes and Martin Bayfield have 26 of those.'

There were a number of options for the captaincy but Rowell settled on Ryan. 'He was England's A captain during the season, is a good club leader and a mature, experienced player.'

ENGLAND (v Orange Free State, Bloemfontein, Wednesday): P Hull (Bristol); D Hopley (Wasps), S Potter (Leicester), M Catt (Bath), A Adebayo (Bath); S Barnes (Bath), S Bates (Wasps); G Rowntree (Leicester), G Dawe (Bath), J Mallett (Bath), M Bayfield (Northampton), M Poole (Leicester), L Dallaglio (Wasps), D Ryan (Wasps, capt), S Ojomoh (Bath). Replacements: D Pears (Harlequins), T Underwood (Leicester), D Morris (Orrell), V Ubogu (Bath), B Moore (Harlequins), N Redman (Bath), B Clarke (Bath).

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