Youngs to make Test debut

10:30am Thursday 8th November 2012

© Press Association 2014

Leicester hooker Tom Youngs will make his Test debut against Fiji on Saturday after being confirmed in one of the most inexperienced England sides of the professional era.

Youngs will take over the hooking duties from Dylan Hartley, who has been sidelined with a knee injury which threatens to keep him out of England's entire QBE autumn international series.

Ugo Monye will make his England comeback on the left wing in place of the injured Ben Foden, while Charlie Sharples deputises for the suspended Chris Ashton on the right wing. Alex Goode continues at full-back while Brad Barritt and Manu Tuilagi link up in a hard-hitting centre partnership, with Toby Flood and Danny Care the half-backs.

There are a total of five changes from the 14-14 draw with South Africa in the summer, with Chris Robshaw back to captain the side after missing that Test with a broken hand.

Tom Johnson continues at blindside flanker after making his Test debut on the summer tour, while Tom Wood returns to the England fold after 14 injury-plagued months with a place on the bench.

The uncapped pair of Saracens prop Mako Vunipola and Wasps lock Joe Launchbury are primed to make their Test debuts off the bench.

Flood is the most experienced player in the side with 50 caps - the combined total of England's starting line-up is just 215.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster said: "Congratulations to Tom Youngs, who has made a great transition from centre to hooker in a short period and deserves his chance, as do Joe Launchbury and Mako Vunipola, who we are pleased to be able to include in the squad."

England team: A Goode (Saracens); C Sharples (Gloucester), M Tuilagi (Leicester), B Barritt (Saracens), U Monye (Harlequins); T Flood (Leicester), D Care (Harlequins); J Marler (Harlequins), T Youngs (Leicester), D Cole (Leicester), T Palmer (Wasps), G Parling (Leicester), T Johnson (Exeter), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), T Waldrom (Leicester).

Replacements: D Paice (London Irish), D Wilson (Bath), M Vunipola (Saracens), J Launchbury (Wasps), T Wood (Northampton), B Youngs (Leicester), O Farrell (Saracens), M Brown (Harlequins).

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