Rugby World Cup 2011

Armitage starts for England

2011-09-08 07:53
Delon Armitage (File)





Dunedin - Delon Armitage will start a Test on the wing for the first time after Mark Cueto was ruled out of England's Rugby World Cup opener against Argentina on Saturday through injury.

Sale wing Cueto, who had a try disallowed during England's 2007 World Cup final defeat by reigning champions South Africa, has been struggling with a back problem that saw him come off early during a 20-9 victory in the team's final warm-up match against Ireland in Dublin last month.

Armitage, normally a fullback, starts on the wing having impressed while coming off the bench to score a try after replacing Cueto in Dublin.

"Mark's had a little bit (of back trouble) before but he could have played (against Argentina)," England manager Martin Johnson told reporters after unveiling his side on Thursday.

"There's a grey area between fit and injured in where most players sit all of the time.

"He trained fully all week, but he's not quite where he needs to be but the good things for us is Delon is playing very well," Johnson said of the 22-times capped Armitage.

"It's quite a simple decision. Delon been around for a few years now, we know when he is in form he is a Test match player. We've no qualms about picking him in any of the back three positions."

Jonny Wilkinson starts at flyhalf, having moved ahead of Toby Flood in the pecking order during the August warm-up programme, as England begin their bid to appear in a third succcessive World Cup final against an Argentina side who finished third in France four years ago.

It was Wilkinson who gave then England captain Johnson the chance to lift the Webb Ellis Trophy when his extra-time drop-goal secured victory against Australia in the 2003 World Cup final.

"Jonny's been in great form and has just got his nose in front but that might change next week," Johnson said."We don't have a drop-off between players in positions and all 30 could start."

Nick Easter returns at No 8 after missing the Ireland fixture with a calf strain while 2003 World Cup winning centre Mike Tindall captains the side in the absence of flanker Lewis Moody, sidelined with a longstanding knee injury.

James Haskell moves to openside flank, in place of Hendre Fourie who played against Ireland but was not selected in the World Cup squad.

Samoa-born centre Manu Tuilagi, who has scored two tries in his two Tests so far, continues alongside Tindall in midfield.

The Pumas named an experienced team on Tuesday but England have won 11 of their 15 Tests against the South Americans.

Argentina are renowned for their forward power but Johnson said there was more to their game than a powerful pack.

"They do what they do very well but they've got more dimensions to them than is sometimes made out in the media.

"They are a dangerous running side, they come at you through forwards but put you under pressure with their kicks as well. It's a full-on Test against a team that finished third in the world last time.

"You have to get it right in the moment, right from the opening kick-off."

Teams

England: 15 Ben Foden; 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Mike Tindall (capt), 11 Delon Armitage; 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Nick Easter, 7 James Haskell, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Steve Thompson, 1 Andrew Sheridan

Substitutes: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Tom Wood, 20 Ben Youngs, 21 Toby Flood, 22 Matt Banahan

Argentina: 15 Martin Rodriguez, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Santiago Fernandez, 11 Gonzalo Camacho, 10 Felipe Contepomi, 9 Nicolas Vergallo, 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Julio Farias Cabello, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Mario Ledesma, 1 Rodrigo Roncero

Substitutes: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Martin Scelzo, 18 Mariano Galarza, 19 Alejandro Campos, 20 Alfredo Lalanne, 21 Marcelo Bosch, 22 Juan Jose Imhoff

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
 
Teams

Pool A

 
 
 
 

Pool B

 
 
 
 

Pool C

 
 
 
 

Pool D

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tank Lanning

Lessons learnt from RWC 2011

2011-10-26 16:45

A few vital life lessons from Tank Lanning's recent trip to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup quarter and semi-finals. Read More

 
Rugby World Cup Wallpapers

Download your favourite RWC wallpaper here

 
Weather

Auckland

Saturday

Scattered showers. Afternoon clouds. Mild.

Low
High

18°C
21°C

Current Conditions
 
Vote

Taking into account where it will be held, the likely player retirements and new coaches in charge, which team looks best-placed to mount a challenge to the All Blacks at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England?

 
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.