ENGLAND have handed a swathe of youngsters the chance to make last-ditch claims for a World Cup place in Sunday’s match against the Barbarians.
Harlequins prop Joe Marler, 20, Newcastle front-row Kieran Brookes, Exeter flanker Tom Johnson and Gloucester centre Henry Trinder are among 13 uncapped players in the 24-man squad for the clash at Twickenham.
Saracens-bound fly-half Charlie Hodgson, Quins wing Ugo Monye, Bath back Matt Banahan and Gloucester’s James Simpson-Daniel bring some experience to the squad, which is being coached by England Saxons boss Stuart Lancaster.
Lancaster said: “It is a great opportunity for all the players who are looking to force their way into Martin Johnson’s plans for the World Cup, and those who will go on to defend the Churchill Cup with the England Saxons next month.”
England team manager Martin Johnson will shortly name a 50-man squad for World Cup training ahead of three warm-up Tests in August, while the Saxons have matches against the USA on 4 June and Tonga on 11 June in the Churchill Cup before the final on 18 June.