By Mitch Phillips
BAGSHOT, England (Reuters) – Winger Chris Ashton will make his first England start for four years against New Zealand on Saturday as coach Eddie Jones made three changes to the side who beat South Africa last week.
Ashton, who came on as a replacement against the Springboks but last started in the June, 2014 defeat by the All Blacks in Hamilton, comes in on the right wing for Jack Nowell, who drops to the bench at Twickenham.
Sam Underhill starts at openside flanker in place of the injured Tom Curry while Ben Moon, who made his debut as a replacement last week, starts at loosehead prop ahead of his Exeter team mate Alec Hepburn.
Lock Courtney Lawes, who missed last Saturday’s 12-11 win with a back injury, is named among the replacements but there is no place for Manu Tuilagi, who was originally on the bench last week but withdrew with a groin strain.
Back-rower Zach Mercer also misses out after making his first appearance against South Africa as a replacement.
England have beaten New Zealand only once in their last 15 meetings dating back to before the 2003 World Cup and their overall record is seven wins and a draw in 40 matches.
England team to play New Zealand:
15 Elliot Daly (Wasps, 22 caps)14 Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks, 40 caps)13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 14 caps)12 Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors, 14 caps)11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 38 caps)10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 62 caps) co-captain9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 78 caps) 1 Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs, 1 cap)2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 94 caps) co-captain3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 14 caps)4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 23 caps)5 George Kruis (Saracens, 26 caps)6 Brad Shields (Wasps, 3 caps)7 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 6 caps)8 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 5 caps) Replacements16 Jamie George (Saracens, 29 caps)17 Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs, 3 caps)18 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 12 caps)19 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 7 caps) 20 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 65 caps)21 Danny Care (Harlequins, 82 caps)22 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 48 caps)23 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 27 caps)
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Ed Osmond)