Five Saints are in England's squad to face France © Getty Images/RFU
Rugby News First cap for Burrell in Paris
Luther Burrell will earn a first England cap on Saturday evening having been named the starting XV to face France, three of the centre’s Saints team mates also involved from the off in the Six Nations opener.
The 26-year-old has been rewarded for an excellent 2013, a calendar year in which he made the Saints 12 shirt his own with a series of powerful performances and an Aviva Premiership final appearance. Burrell was also part of England’s summer tour to South America, making a senior international debut in the non-cap clash with CONSUR XV.
There are also starts for Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood in a settled looking pack, meaning the Saints will be the joint best represented side when England step onto the Stade de France turf.
Lee Dickson’s inclusion on the bench increases the tally from Franklin’s Gardens to five, the joint most in the squad.
Elsewhere, Exeter man Jack Nowell is a second debutant on the wing, where Gloucester’s Johnny May is also selected for a second cap.
Head coach Stuart Lancaster says the squad are relishing the challenge of a tough opening game.
“We can’t wait for Saturday,” he commented. “We’ve had a good two weeks and all the players have pushed hard for selection.
“Congratulations to Jack and Luther who deserve their chance, as does Jonny May starting his first RBS 6 Nations game. It’s also great to see Brad Barritt back with his experience and leadership in the 23, while Alex Goode will give us good cover at 15 and 10.
“We felt the pack went well in the autumn and it’s right to leave it unchanged but we have some quality players, including two British Lions in Tom and Mako, to come on.”
Action from Paris immediately follows the Saints’ LV= Cup clash with Saracens and will be shown live in the Rodber Bar on big screens.
ENGLAND SIDE TO PLAY FRANCE
Stade de France
Saturday, February 1st, 2014
Kick off 5pm
15 Mike BROWN (Harlequins)
14 Jack NOWELL (Exeter Chiefs)
13 Luther BURRELL (Northampton Saints)
12 Billy TWELVETREES (Gloucester Rugby)
11 Jonny MAY (Gloucester Rugby)
10 Owen FARRELL (Saracens)
9 Danny CARE (Harlequins)
1 Joe MARLER (Harlequins)
2 Dylan HARTLEY (Northampton Saints)
3 Dan COLE (Leicester Tigers)
4 Joe LAUNCHBURY (London Wasps)
5 Courtney LAWES (Northampton Saints)
6 Tom WOOD (Northampton Saints)
7 Chris ROBSHAW (Harlequins)(capt)
8 Billy VUNIPOLA (Saracens)
16 Tom YOUNGS (Leicester Tigers)
17 Mako VUNIPOLA (Saracens)
18 Henry THOMAS (Sale Sharks)
19 Dave ATTWOOD (Bath Rugby)
20 Ben MORGAN (Gloucester Rugby)
21 Lee DICKSON (Northampton Saints)
22 Brad BARRITT (Saracens)
23 Alex GOODE (Saracens)