20 Nov 2014

Sport: England make six changes for Manu Samoa test

11:04 am on 20 November 2014

Rookie George Ford has been named to make his first Test start for England after being named in a revamped team to play Samoa at Twickenham on Sunday morning.

Ford's previous four Test appearances have come as a replacement, and his opportunity at pivot pushes regular playmaker Owen Farrell out to second-five.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has made six changes in all, including Farrell's positional switch, to the side beaten 31-28 by the Springboks last weekend as next year's World Cup hosts look to end a run of five straight defeats.

Farrell replaces Kyle Eastmond, who was ruled out with concussion, Ben Youngs comes in at halfback in place of Danny Care, while up front, Ben Morgan and James Haskell come into the back row in place of Billy Vunipola and Tom Wood.

The other change is at hooker, with Rob Webber replacing Dylan Hartley after the latter received a yellow card at the weekend.

Manu Samoa manager, Namulau'ulu Sami Leota, says they're prepared for an English backlash.

"The fourth loss in a row by England is not going to do us any favour. We know that they will come out strong and hard to prove themselves before their home crowd and we know it's going to be a tough match and rightly so we need to get ourselves prepared and get ready for it. The fact that England is also hosting the World Cup next year, even at this stage all the teams that are participating in this November series - they all use these test matches to get themselves ready and prepare for the World Cup next year".

Namulau'ulu Sami Leota says the off field issues between a group of senior players and the SRU will not affect the team's preparations for Sunday morning's clash.