Chris Ashton starts for England; New Zealand at full strength

Chris Ashton
Chris Ashton

Chris Ashton makes his first England start for four years as one of three changes for Saturday's long-awaited clash with New Zealand at Twickenham.

Ashton lines-up on the right wing in place of Jack Nowell after impressing during his 15-minute spell as a substitute in the 12-11 victory over South Africa that opened the Quilter Internationals.

The 31-year-old has amassed 40 caps in an international career interrupted by suspension, falling out of favour with successive England coaches and a season-long spell in Toulon.

Nowell drops to the bench but there is no place for Manu Tuilagi despite his recovery from the groin strain that ruled him out against the Springboks.

The two other changes see Ben Moon come in for Alec Hepburn at loosehead prop and Sam Underhill replaces Tom Curry, who has been ruled out of the remainder of the autumn by an ankle injury.

Courtney Lawes returns to the bench after overcoming a lower back problem, forcing Zach Mercer out of the matchday 23.

Owen Farrell co-captains the team alongside Dylan Hartley and needs only one more point to reach 700 for England.

England face New Zealand for the first time in four years and have been installed as heavy underdogs against the world champions.

"The expectation for Saturday is no different to any other Test match," Eddie Jones said.

We want to be at our best, better than we were in the previous Test match and we want to play with pride and passion which ignites the fan.

"It's been a good week, the players have recovered well, trained well on Tuesday, exceptionally well on Wednesday and we look forward to the challenge of taking on New Zealand on Saturday."

England team: E Daly (Wasps); C Ashton (Sale), H Slade (Exeter), B Te'o (Worcester), J May (Leicester); O Farrell (Saracens, co-capt), B Youngs (Leicester); B Moon (Exeter), D Hartley (Northampton, co-capt), K Sinckler (Harlequins), M Itoje (Saracens), G Kruis (Saracens), B Shields (Wasps), S Underhill (Bath), M Wilson (Newcastle).

Replacements: J George (Saracens), A Hepburn (Exeter), H Williams (Exeter), C Ewels (Bath), C Lawes (Northampton), D Care (Harlequins), G Ford (Leicester) J Nowell (Exeter).

All Blacks at full strength

New Zealand have picked their strongest available team, including a centre pairing of Sonny Bill Williams and Jack Goodhue, for Saturday's clash with England.

The hard-running Crusaders duo will start together for the All Blacks for only the second time after Goodhue recovered from glandular fever, forcing Ryan Crotty on to the bench.

Prop Joe Moody suffered a cut eye in training, so Karl Tu'inukuafe takes his place in the front row of a side led by number eight Kieran Read and directed by Beauden Barrett at fly-half.

"Jack has trained the house down so you've got to trust the medical people. They say he's ready to go so he's ready to go," New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen said.

"We're blessed with some very good midfielders at the moment. It doesn't matter which one you play we've just got work out what combinations really gel well together and what we can do with the bench."

Kieran Read
Kieran Read

The All Blacks will wear poppies on their jerseys as the Test falls on the centenary remembrance of Armistice Day.

In an ominous warning to England, Hansen has revealed that his world champions are looking to make a statement at Twickenham.

"We know we'll be up against a very determined and well-coached English side," Hansen said.

"They'll have gained a lot of confidence from their win over South Africa and be keen to make a statement in front of their passionate Twickenham home crowd.

"However, for us it's about making our own statement. To do that, we'll need to bring our own intensity and accuracy to an even higher level throughout the game.

"It's a great opportunity to assess where our game is at and we're really looking forward to it."

New Zealand team: D McKenzie; B Smith, J Goodhue, S B Williams, R Ioane; B Barrett, A Smith; K Tu'inukuafe, C Taylor, O Franks, S Whitelock, B Retallick, L Squire, A Savea, K Read (cap).

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