England Saxons name Churchill Cup final team

Worcester duo Graham Kitchener and Miles Benjamin come back into the England Saxons side for Saturday’s Churchill Cup final against Canada at Sixways.


In all the Saxons make three changes to the side that started last Sunday’s 41-14 win against Tonga.


Kitchener replaces the injured David Attwood in the second row, Benjamin takes over from Topsy Ojo (London Irish) on the wing and Mike Brown (Harlequins) is at full back instead of Alex Goode (Saracens). On the bench Bath Rugby prop Nathan Catt stands by to make his first outing of the tournament.


Kitchener – making his final appearance as a Worcester Warriors player before joining Leicester Tigers this summer – and Goode are the only two survivors in the squad from last year’s final when the Saxons beat Canada 38-18 at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.


Head coach Stuart Lancaster said: “It’s disappointing to lose Dave Attwood off the back of three good performances against the Barbarians and in the Churchill Cup but it’s a great opportunity for Graham Kitchener. We’re confident about what he can deliver having played so well against Italy A at Worcester earlier in the season.


“We’ve also got a lot of quality options in the backs and as the game progresses we envisage that the players coming off the bench will make a big impact.


“We’re aware of the threat that Canada pose. They’ve played well in their wins against Italy A and Russia. They’re a fit, well-coached and organised side who have spent a considerable amount of time together over the last few years. They will fight for the full 80 minutes so we’ve got a big challenge ahead of us to retain the trophy.”


Canada reached this season’s final by beating Italy A 26-12 and Russia 34-18.


England Saxons , 15 Mike Brown (Harlequins) , 14 Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby) , 13 Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby) , 12 Billy Twelvetrees (Leicester Tigers) , 11 Miles Benjamin (Worcester Warriors) , 10 Rory Clegg (Harlequins) , 9 Paul Hodgson (London Irish) , 1 Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors) , 2 David Paice (London Irish) , 3 Matt Stevens (Saracens) , 4 Mouritz Botha (Saracens) , 5 Graham Kitchener (Worcester Warriors) , 6 James Gaskell (Sale Sharks) , 7 Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs) , 8 Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers, captain)


Replacements , 16 Joe Gray (Harlequins) , 17 Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby) , 18 Jamie Gibson (London Irish) , 19 Carl Fearns (Sale Sharks) , 20 Micky Young (Newcastle Falcons) , 21 Alex Goode (Saracens) , 22 Topsy Ojo (London Irish)

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