Jones backs Harrison to bother Wales

2016-05-28 09:47
Eddie Jones (Gallo Images)

London - New Zealand-born England flank Teimana Harrison is "a street fighter" ready and able to give Wales' forwards a tough time on his international debut at Twickenham.

That's according to Eddie Jones who is blooding the 23-year-old Harrison in the match with Wales on Sunday prior to his team flying out for the three-Test campaign in Australia.

Northampton Saints youngster Harrison qualifies via his English father and will take the place of Chris Robshaw who is committed to attending his brother's wedding.

And head coach Jones firmly believes Harrison will have nothing to fear from the Welsh pack in England's first game since they captured the Six Nations' Grand Slam. The Aussie insisted: "He is a street fighter. You need guys prepared to put their bodies on the line and be physical and aggressive. That's what Harrison gives you.

"If I didn't think he was ready for that step up I wouldn't be picking him. He's a very talented, exciting you lad and I'm looking forward to seeing how he goes on Sunday."

England captain and Teimana's Saints forward colleague Dylan Hartley played a big role in his rise in Premiership rugby to now on the verge of an international debut.

Hooker Hartley, also born in New Zealand, insisted: "Teimana is pretty raw. He has an English father and he was interested in playing in England. It was post World Cup 2011, and I watched him play in Rotorua. I then returned to Northampton to say we had to get him in the academy.

"I knew he would play for Northampton but never thought about England. But I am chuffed for him because he's had a rough ride to get to this stage.

"He was a bit home sick for a while but we helped him to stick by it. He's like a sponge who wants to soak up all the knowledge he can. He's a bit raw and rugged still but I've seen him develop over time."

England send out a makeshift side unable to pick any of their Saracens or Exeter Aviva Premiership Finalists. Harlequins lock Jack Clifford wins his first start in six caps at No8.

Luther Burrell plays at inside centre with Manu Tuilagi injured while Marland Yarde get his chance on the wing having jumped ahead of Chris Ashton in the selection queue.

Three other players are in line to make their debuts off the bench in hooker Tommy Taylor, prop Ellis Genge and centre Ollie Devoto, with flanker Matt Kvesic.

Jones wants his team to approach the clash as if it was a normal Six Nations game and is hoping the Welsh will arrive with an attacking attitude.

He claimed: "Wales are nothing like Australia. They play game-line rugby with big guys carrying the ball. But, hopefully, Wales might get the sun in their eyes and decide to play side to side. Play some picnic rugby and throw the ball around a bit like Australia do.

"This is going to be a serious rugby match. Not just a warm-up to us flying to Australia and the Welsh also going off to New Zealand. They love beating us and we love beating them. So it will be full on and very competitive as usual."

Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones, meanwhile, is back after recovering from a long-standing foot problem, and will win his 99th cap this weekend.

Head coach Warren Gatland, who has named forward Dan Lydiate as his captain, is desperate for his team to head off to face world champions New Zealand in a three-Test series on a high. He insisted: "When you look at the summer series ahead, this is a really important match for the squad.

"When looking at previous summer tours and planning for New Zealand, we felt we needed greater preparation to prepare us for the step-up in intensity, and the match against England will provide that for us.

"It will be an important hit-out for both teams, and as ever it will be an important Test match as it's England versus Wales at Twickenham.

"There is a lot of continuity in our squad and a great amount of experience, and that is going to be vital over the next five weeks."

Teams for England v Wales one-off Test match at Twickenham on Sunday (kick-off 16:00 SA time):


15 Mike Brown, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jack Clifford, 7 James Haskell, 6 Teimana Harrison, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Matt Mullan

Substitutes: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Danny Care, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Elliot Daly


15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Dan Lydiate (captain), 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Rob Evans

Substitutes: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Gethin Jenkins, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Josh Turnbull, 20 James King, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Gareth Anscombe

Read more on:    england  |  wales  |  eddie jones  |  rugby


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