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Dan Cole to draw level with Jason Leonard as England lineup announced

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Tuesday Jul 2, 2024

England head coach Steve Borthwick has confirmed an almost unchanged starting XV to face the All Blacks in Dunedin on Saturday. 

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Following England’s impressive dismantling of Japan in their first summer tour match in Tokyo, Borthwick has decided to make only two changes, preferring to start Joe Marler and Will Stuart in the front row alongside captain Jamie George.

Dan Cole is set to make his 114th cap when he arrives off the bench, equalling the former record cap holder Jason Leonard, with only the recently retired Ben Youngs sitting ahead of them on 127 caps.

“It doesn’t get more challenging than playing New Zealand at home, but it’s exactly where we want to be,” said Steve Borthwick.

“We want to find out more about ourselves and test ourselves against one of the best teams in the world.

“Test rugby is a game of fine margins, so our mindset is going to be very important on Saturday. We’ll need to be mentally strong, play a tactically smart game and ensure we maintain our discipline.

“The Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin is a great venue with a quick surface, and the closed roof should make the atmosphere very special.”

England Starting XV

15. George Furbank

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14. Immanuel Feyi-Waboso

13. Henry Slade – vice-captain

12. Ollie Lawrence

11. Tommy Freeman

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10. Marcus Smith

9. Alex Mitchell

1. Joe Marler – vice-captain

2. Jamie George – captain

3. Will Stuart

4. Maro Itoje – vice-captain

5. George Martin

6. Chandler Cunningham-South

7. Sam Underhill

8. Ben Earl – vice-captain

Replacements

16. Theo Dan

17. Fin Baxter

18. Dan Cole

19. Alex Coles

20. Tom Curry

21. Ben Spencer

22. Fin Smith

23. Ollie Sleightholme

Previous fixtures between the two sides

2022: England 25 – 25 New Zealand

2019: England 19 – 7 New Zealand

2018: England 15 – 16 New Zealand

2014: England 21 – 24 New Zealand

2014: New Zealand 36 – 13 England

2014: New Zealand 28 – 27 England

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