New Zealand-born Riki Flutey has pledged allegiance to England ahead of his Test debut at Twickenham.
Martin Johnson has picked the London Wasps 10-12 combination of Danny Cipriani and Flutey to start against the Pacific Islanders this Saturday. The young flyhalf has already run out for his country, but for Flutey, who represented New Zealand at U19 and U21 level, this will be a first taste of Test rugby.
“I am really excited and proud to be representing England,” Flutey said. “I’m part of this culture now and I will sing the national anthem alongside my mates, I’m looking forward to it.”
The 28-year-old Kiwi qualifies for England having played in the domestic competitions for the required three years. After a stint with London Irish in 2004, he made the move to archrivals Wasps.
“I was born and raised in New Zealand and part of my heart will always be there. But I’ve been living here for three years and me and my family are really enjoying it.
“I am loving my rugby at the moment and to get this opportunity to run out at Twickenham and represent England is something I am very, very proud of.”
England – 15 Delon Armitage (London Irish), 14 Paul Sackey (Wasps), 13 Jamie Noon (Newcastle), 12 Riki Flutey (Wasps), 11 Ugo Monye (Harlequins), 10 Danny Cipriani (Wasps), 9 Danny Care (Harlequins); 1 Andrew Sheridan (Sale), 2 Lee Mears (Bath), 3 Matt Stevens (Bath), 4 Steve Borthwick (Saracens, captain), 5 Nick Kennedy (London Irish), 6 Tom Croft (Leicester), 7 Tom Rees (Wasps), 8 Nick Easter (Harlequins).
Subs: 16 Dylan Hartley (Northampton), 17 Phil Vickery (Wasps), 18 Tom Palmer (Wasps), 19 James Haskell (Wasps), 20 Michael Lipman (Bath), 21 Harry Ellis (Leicester), 22 Toby Flood (Leicester).
Pacific Islanders - 15 Kameli Ratuvou (Saracens, Fiji), 14 Sailosi Tagicakibau (London Irish, Samoa), 13 Seru Rabeni (Leicester, Fiji), 12 Seilala Mapusua (London Irish, Samoa), 11 Vilimoni Delasau (Montauban, Fiji), 10 Pierre Hola (Longolongo, Tonga), 9 Mosese Raulini (Saracens, Fiji), 1 Justin Va’a (Glasgow, Samoa), 2 Aleki Lutui (Worcester, Tonga), 3 Census Johnston (Saracens, Samoa), 4 Filipo Levi (Ricoh, Samoa), 5 Kele Leawere (Hino Motors, Fiji), 6 Semisi Naevo (NEC, Fiji), 7 Nili Latu (NEC, Tonga) 8 Finau Maka (Toulouse, Tonga).
Subs: 16 Sunia Koto (London Welsh, Fiji), 17 Kisi Pulu (Perpignan, Tonga), 18 Hale T Pole (Suntory, Tonga ), 19 George Stowers (World Kobe, Samoa), 20 Sililo Martens (Scarlets, Tonga), 21 Seremaia Bai (Clermont Auvergne, Fiji), 22 Epi Taione (Harlequins, Tonga).