Rugby Union: Woodward's five new faces

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The Independent Online
Born: Bath; Age: 20: Honours: England 18 Group, Colts, Under-21s.

A jack of all trades and master of most of them. Perry is the most exciting back-line prospect to emerge in England since Jeremy Guscott and while he played virtually all his schools rugby at outside-half and has spent much of his fledgling top-flight career in the centre, shrewd judges are most animated by his potential at full-back. A quiet, almost diffident character, he has a splinter of ice and a shard of steel in his bloodstream. Yet to lose a ball in contact this season.

Born: London; Age: 23; Honours: England Under-21, England A.

The great unknown. At 5ft 9in in his socks and just 13 stones dripping wet, Rees is unlikely to run through Jonah Lomu. He might fancy his chances of running round him, though; his performances for Sale throughout last season and in the early stages of this one have marked him out as a fearless, scuttling attacking runner with an awkwardly low centre of gravity. A natural footballer, Rees played tennis for Northumberland and football for Newcastle Boys.

Born: Blackburn; Age: 25; Honours: England Students, Under-21, England A, Lions tourist.

About time, too. Greenwood has been the best inside centre in England since Bob Dwyer plonked him firmly in the position at the start of last season. A strong, leggy runner with the priceless ability to play scoring passes out of the heaviest of tackles, he was considered one of the successes of last summer's Lions tour despite being invalided out after suffering a life-threatening head injury in Bloemfontein. He is most certainly now back on his game.

Born: Bournemouth; Age: 20; Honours: England 18 Group, Colts, Under-21s.

Talk about rapid progress. Long has all the right England pedigree but Bath, notoriously unimpressed by reputations and credentials, did not consider him a first-team contender until the start of this season. Since then, he has done everything right and neither Mark Regan, the England incumbent, nor Federico Mendez, the injury-prone Puma, have been able to put the young upstart in his place. Long is big - very big - for a hooker, but his size makes him a thoroughly modern forward.

Born: Littlehampton; Age: 24; Honours: England 18 Group, Students, Under-21s.

One of the most influential forwards in Wasps' 1997 championship side, Green can both scrummage his weight and get around the paddock at a rate of knots. A front-row modernist with a range of skills that would earn him a bunch of fives from any self-respecting graduate from the Gareth Chilcott school of propping, Green's emergence as a tight-head specialist of international calibre should, in theory, solve one of Clive Woodward's most pressing selection problems.

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