S youngster Elliot Daly said he was proud to play at Twickenham for the first time in an England shirt yesterday, despite his team losing 39-29 to Barbarians.
England fielded an inexperienced side after coach Stuart Lancaster had picked a separate group of 30 players for the upcoming three-Test series in New Zealand, starting on Saturday.
Two tries from former All Blacks wing Hosea Gear earned victory for Barbarians, despite tries from Dave Ewers and Charlie Sharples initially giving England a half-time lead.
“It’s the first [time] here at Twickenham for me, so it was a really special day – just disappointed that we didn’t get the win,” the 21-year-old Daly said. “It was a tough fixture and I think both teams can hold their heads up high.”
Meanwhile in the southern hemisphere, New Zealand coach Steve Hansen is braced for a tough series of games against the tourists.
“England have been the most improved side in world rugby in the last two years,” Hansen said.
“Stuart ]Lancaster] has built depth in his side and a strong culture. They will be a formidable opponent and one we are very excited about playing. Those who think England will be fielding a weak side in the first Test are completely underestimating the quality of depth in the England squad.”