ENGLAND rugby boss Stuart Lancaster intends to make significant changes for the second Test against New Zealand despite his experimental team pushing the All Blacks close on Saturday.
The world champions needed a late try from Conrad Smith to overcome the tourists 20-15 in Auckland after a dogged effort from an England side missing several key men due to injury and scheduling. Scrum-half Danny Care and centre Billy Twelvetrees could be fit for the second Test of a three-match series in five days’ time, while Lancaster will also have stars from Northampton and Saracens, who missed the start of the tour due to last week’s Premiership final, at his disposal.
“There will be more changes than you ordinarily make,” he said. “Danny Care, Owen Farrell, Tom Wood, Billy Vunipola, Dylan Hartley, Billy Twelvetrees, Luther Burrell; the list goes on. There are a lot of good players who were unavailable for that first Test.
“I’ve got to get the balance right. That’s going to be the key thing because the priority has to be to win the second Test.
“If we win that then we have got a series that we can win. It is a must-win game and that will be the overriding decision that will influence where I go on selection.”