Martin Johnson has axed Danny Cipriani for England’s Test against the All Blacks.
Cipriani has been talked up by the English press but the past three weekends have shown this to be more hot air than anything else. Cipriani had three kicks charged down against the Boks (one resulted in Ruan Pienaar’s try), was weary in defence, and failed to ignite the backline, and as a result he’s been replaced by Toby Flood.
Opensider Tom Rees has also been dropped as Michael Lipman comes in. Lock Tom Palmer makes way for Nick Kennedy, who will win his second cap after scoring on debut against the Pacific Islanders.
Johnson has brought Leicester centre Danny Hipkiss into the 22 as he opts for a conventional bench of four forwards and three backs for the first time under his tutelage.
England – 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Jamie Noon, 12 Riki Flutey, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Michael Lipman, 6 James Haskell, 5 Nick Kennedy, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Phil Vickery, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Tim Payne.
Subs: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Tom Croft, 19 Tom Rees, 20 Harry Ellis, 21 Danny Cipriani, 22 Danny Hipkiss.