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New look England to tackle the Pumas

PACE: Yarde

WITH ENGLAND’s best rugby union players either playing for the British and Irish Lions in the summer or being rested, a new look Red Rose squad has been selected to play against Argentina in June.

Eleven uncapped players have been chosen for the tour, which begins on May 26 with England taking on the dream team of rugby, the Barbarians, at Twickenham Stadium.

England will then take on a best of South America XV in Montevideo, Uruguay on June 2 and the Tests against Argentina, who are nicknamed the Pumas, will take place in Salta on June 8 and Buenos Aires on June 15.

New recruits include Bath centre Kyle Eastmond and London Irish wing Marland Yarde. Others to have booked their places on the plane are London Irish centre Jonathan Joseph, Northampton Saints lock Courtney Lawes and Wasps winger Christian Wade.

While Joseph and Lawes are no strangers to the England set-up; Eastmond, Yarde and Wade are all uncapped.


VERSATILE: Eastmond (left)

Eastmond, an England international in the rugby league, displayed great versatility having played at inside centre, outside centre and on the wing for his club. The 23-year-old - who featured for England’s second string side, the Saxons earlier on in the year – has gotten to grips with the other code of rugby since making the transition in 2011.

Although the Saint Lucia-born Yarde has played for a struggling team in London Irish this season, the 21-year-old has demonstrated his searing pace and power on a number of occasions and Yarde scored six tries in all competitions this season.

Wade, who was named by several pundits as an outsider to be picked for the Lions, has been highly impressive this season. The 22-year-old fleet-footed flyer was joint top try scorer in the Premiership this season alongside team-mate Tom Varndell and was nominated for both Young Player and Player of the Season.

Wade starred for England during the tour of South Africa in 2012 but has not yet been officially capped at the international level.

“We’re really looking forward to this tour and we’ve selected a young and exciting side which I’m sure will do the country proud in a tough series of matches,” said England head coach Stuart Lancaster.

“The key principles in selection were threefold: first and foremost to win the games but also to develop strength in depth and more options in certain positions, and to give one or two players a physical and mental break.

“We feel we’ve got the balance right and have given places to a number of players who have shone in the Aviva Premiership this season, one or two who have been on the fringes for a while, and several players who have been involved over the last year or so. This is everyone's chance to step up.”

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