| 1.5°C Dublin

Lancaster wary of Samoa

Stuart Lancaster has warned his England team that Samoa will arrive at Twickenham determined to win their "cup final".

Successive defeats to New Zealand and South Africa have transformed tomorrow's international against the Pacific Islanders into a critical fixture as the Red Rose attempt to end a five-Test losing run.

Samoa's players had considered boycotting the game due to their concerns over the mismanagement of their union and while that threat has been withdrawn, they are eager to make a statement at England's expense.

"We're expecting physicality, pride and passion from Samoa. This game is their cup final. It's a great opportunity for them and they'll be hugely motivated," head coach Lancaster said.

Lancaster has made five changes in personnel to the team defeated 31-28 by the Springboks.

The performances of George Ford at fly-half and Owen Farrell at inside centre will be under the microscope.

Ben Youngs has been brought in at scrum-half and Rob Webber is given a chance at hooker because of Dylan Hartley's brainless yellow card against South Africa, while the return of flanker James Haskell and number eight Ben Morgan completes an overhaul of the back row.

McCaw sets new mark

wales v NEW ZEALAND

CARDIFF, tomorrow

live bbc2 (5.30)

Richie McCaw will lead New Zealand for the 100th time tomorrow, when they face a Wales team seeking a first win against the All Blacks since 1953.

Star out-half Dan Carter is not in the squad, as coach Steve Hansen feels he is "rusty" after recovering from injury. Beauden Barrett is at 10 with Colin Slade on the bench.

Ben Smith remains at full-back, while Conrad Smith partners Sonny Bill Williams at centre.

Hansen said of 33-year-old flanker McCaw: "He is now one of the all-time great leaders of any sports team."

ENGLAND v SAMOA

TWICKENHAM tomorrow live sky sports 2 (7.0)


Privacy