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Rokoduguni given debut for NZ clash

England have named Semesa Rokoduguni on the right wing for Saturday's QBE Series opener against New Zealand at Twickenham.

The uncapped Rokoduguni, a serving soldier in the British Army with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards who has seen action in Afghanistan, has been rewarded for an outstanding start to the season at Bath.

Born in Fiji, the 27-year-old was once unable to make the bench of his school team but now finds himself acting as England's main threequarter strike weapon in the injury-enforced absence of Manu Tuilagi.

"I'm delighted for Roko. Wing is an extremely competitive position, but he has pushed himself forward with his form this season and it's great to be able to give him this opportunity," head coach Stuart Lancaster said.

Rokoduguni is one of three uncapped players in the 23 with Bath team-mate Anthony Watson offering back-three cover from the bench and George Kruis of Saracens the second-row replacement. Lancaster said: "I'm sure Anthony and George will contribute should they come off the bench. Dave Attwood has had an eventful week with the birth of his first child. He'll be ready to go."

England XV (v New Zealand): M Brown; S Rokoduguni, B Barritt, K Eastmond, J May; O Farrell, D Care; J Marler, D Hartley, D Wilson, D Attwood, C Lawes, T Wood, C Robshaw (capt), B Vunipola. Replacements: R Webber (Bath), M Mullan (Wasps), K Brookes (Newcastle), G Kruis (Saracens), B Morgan (Gloucester), B Youngs (Leicester), G Ford (Bath), A Watson (Bath).


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