Six Nations 2012: Uncapped England trio to face Scotland
Head coach Stuart Lancaster names three uncapped players in England's starting team to face Scotland on Saturday
Phil Dowson is one of three uncapped players in England’s starting team to face Scotland in their Six Nations opener at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Northampton Saints’ 30-year-old Dowson will make his debut at No8, while Saracens Brad Barritt and Owen Farrell will form a new centre pairing at international level.
Captain Chris Robshaw is set to start at the back alongside Tom Croft – and Dave Strettle and Charlie Hodgson remain in the side with Chris Ashton on the wing.
“We have been impressed with how the whole group has come together in the last 10 days and we have done a lot of work on and off the field,” said interim head coach Stuart Lancaster.
“Now is the time to turn all that into a performance against Scotland that we can all be proud of. It is a massive challenge – Murrayfield, the first game of the Six Nations – but one we are relishing.”
On the inclusion of Downson, Lancaster added: “Phil just has that match experience at club level which we think will transfer to the international arena.”
London Wasps’ Rob Webber is one of five other uncapped players are on the replacements’ bench for Saturday’s clash, alongside Geoff Parling, Ben Morgan, Lee Dickson and Jordan Turner-Hall.
Looking ahead to the trip to Scotland, Lancaster added: “It’s a great stadium to play at and it will be a fantastic occasion. We’ve not been there since 2004 and we recognise that it’s going to be a huge challenge.”
England side to face Scotland
Ben Foden; Chris Ashton; Brad Barritt, Owen Farrell, David Strettle; Charlie Hodgson; Ben Youngs; Alex Corbisiero, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole; Mouritz Botha, Tom Palmer; Tom Croft, Chris Robshaw (captain), Phil Dowson.
Replacements: Rob Webber, Matt Stevens, Geoff Parling, Ben Morgan, Lee Dickson, Jordan Turner-Hall, Mike Brown.