Barritt to make Test debut

Former Sharks centre Brad Barritt will start in England’s Six Nations opener against Scotland on Saturday.

England will field a new-look team, that sees a total of nine changes to the starting line-up that faced France in the World Cup quarter-final.

Barritt, who will receive his first Test cap, will form a new midfield combination with Saracens team-mate Owen Farrell. Interim head coach Stuart Lancaster has interestingly named the 25-year-old at outside centre. For Saracens, Farrell features in the No 13 jersey while Barritt starts on his inside.

‘To pull on a Test jersey is the ultimate for a player, it is something you dream about as a kid. It will be an immensely proud moment for me and my family to represent England,’ Barritt told reporters.

‘We are blessed in the squad with 32 really talented individuals and Owen and I are going to make our debuts together. I am sure he [Owen] will take to it like a duck to water. You have seen in the past 18 months that any obstacle that has come his way, he has embraced it and taken on the challenge.

‘Having Charlie [Hodgson] and Strets [David Strettle] in the backs means it is a great day for Sarries. But if were to be playing with anybody else I would be just as proud and just as content going into the game.’

Eighthman Phil Dowson also makes his Test debut at the age of 30 while Saffa Mouritz Botha is picked in the second row. On the bench, there are five more uncapped players in hooker Rob Webber, lock Geoff Parling, flanker Ben Morgan, scrumhalf Lee Dickson and centre Jordan Turner-Hall.

England – 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Brad Barritt, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Phil Dowson, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Tom Croft, 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Subs: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Geoff Parling, 19 Ben Morgan, 20 Lee Dickson, 21 Jordan Turner-Hall, 22 Mike Brown.