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Lewis Ludlam and Tom Pearson both start for England against Wales this weekend.
Lewis Ludlam and Tom Pearson both start for England against Wales this weekend.

Pearson to debut for England while Ludlam also starts against Wales

Tom Pearson will make his England debut as he is named in the side’s first team of the summer, with the new Northampton Saints signing starting alongside Lewis Ludlam in the opening Rugby World Cup warm-up clash this weekend. ​

England face Wales on the road in the first of four warm-up matches ahead of the Rugby World Cup getting underway in France next month, starting with Wales on Saturday (5 August, kick-off: 5.30pm) before clashing with Wales again (12 August) as well as Ireland (19 August) and Fiji (26 August) in the coming weeks. 

Club captain Ludlam will earn his 20th international cap at the Principality Stadium this weekend, while new signing Pearson is set to make his first England appearance in Cardiff as he joins Ludlam in the back row after impressing in the side’s training camps this summer. 

The clash will provide the Saints duo the opportunity to to make their final impressions on head coach Steve Borthwick before he picks his final 33-man World Cup squad on Monday 7 August.

Ahead of this Saturday’s clash, Borthwick said: “England versus Wales in Cardiff is always an exciting and keenly contested fixture.

“I am sure this Saturday will be no different as a tremendous first Test match of the Summer Nations Series.

“We have been impressed with how the whole squad has applied itself both on and off the field over this training camp. We are now looking forward to returning to Test match rugby as we continue our preparations for the Rugby World Cup in France.”

Saturday’s clash against Wales is England’s first of four Summer Nations Series fixtures which will be shown live and exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

Saturday 5 August, 2023
Principality Stadium
Kick-off: 5.30pm

15 Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 22 caps)
14 Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 18 caps)
13 Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 15 caps)
12 Guy Porter (Leicester Tigers, 4 caps) 
11 Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 14 caps)
10 Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 21 caps)
9 Danny Care (Harlequins, 87 caps)  

1 Ellis Genge (c) (Bristol Bears, 48 caps)
2 Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, 6 caps)
3 Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 25 caps)
4 David Ribbans (Toulon, 5 caps)
5 George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap)
6 Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 19 caps)
7 Tom Pearson (Northampton Saints, uncapped)

8 Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 14 caps)

16 Theo Dan (Saracens, uncapped)
17 Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 2 caps)
18 Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 61 caps)
19 Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks, 19 caps)
20 Tom Willis (Saracens, uncapped)
21 Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 12 caps)
22 George Ford (Sale Sharks, 81 caps)
23 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 56 caps)

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