England: Eddie Jones names starting 15 for first Argentina Test

Sale flanker Tom Curry will become England’s youngest debutant for 19 years when he wins his first cap against Argentina on Saturday.

Curry, who will make his international debut five days before his 19th birthday, is one of four new faces in Eddie Jones’ starting line-up for the first Test against the Pumas in San Juan, with another seven uncapped players on the bench.

Curry, whose twin brother Ben was ruled out of contention through injury, was not born when Jonny Wilkinson, England’s current youngest debutant, played against Ireland in April 1998, at the age of 18 years and 341 days.

Jones is forced to field one of the youngest England teams on record after being denied the services of no fewer than 30 players through injury, suspension and British and Irish Lions calls, but he insists the newcomers are ready.

“My principle has always been that, if a player is good enough, you play him whether he is old or young,” Jones said. “Some players at 18 are much more mature than players at 28. There were no qualms at all about throwing him (Tom Curry) in.

“I’m really excited about this England team. I have selected a group of experienced players across the spine of this team as well as four young players who will be eager to go out and play well on their debuts for England.

“Those players have worked extremely hard to get selected over the last few weeks but I have been impressed with the way the whole squad has trained and gelled together in a short amount of time.

“They all realise the opportunity that they have to be involved in this England side and I’m sure they will show that commitment on Saturday.

“We are here to win this series 2-0 but we know Argentina will be extremely tough opposition. After a mixed year of results, there will be pressure on them to play well and win in front of a partisan crowd.

“We know Argentina are a very good side having played them earlier this season and they will be desperate to win against us.”

Saracens centre Alex Lozowski, Exeter prop Harry Williams and Newcastle flanker Mark Wilson are the other new faces in the starting team, while among those waiting on the bench are cross-code winger Denny Solomona and Northampton fly-half Piers Francis, who joined up with the squad on Monday from Auckland.

Wilson got the nod after fellow flankers Chris Robshaw and Sam Underhill were ruled out with ankle and neck injuries respectively but Jones is happy with his back-row combination.

“We have got one fetcher in Curry, one grafter in Wilson and one runner in (Nathan) Hughes,” Jones added.

“Wilson is a good tough player, quite similar to Robshaw. He’s a hard worker, he makes his tackles, makes his clean-outs and does all the unseen work. He is a very tough player. He has impressed since he has come into camp and really deserves his opportunity.”

Jones expects Robshaw and Underhill both to be available for the second Test in Sante Fe on Saturday week.

Previous results:
2016: England won 27-14 at Twickenham
2013: England won 31-12 at Twickenham
2013: England won 51-26 in Buenos Aires
2013: England won 32-2 in Salta
2011: England won 13-9 in Dunedin (RWC)
2009: England won 16-9 iat Twickenham
2009: Argentina won 24-22 in Salta
2009: England won 37-15 in Manchester
Prediction: Very tight to call, with England’s uncapped contingent an unknown factor. This is close to a full-strength Argentina side however, and that commands respect, especially at home. Argentina by three.
The teams:
Argentina: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Matías Moroni, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Enrique Pieretto, 2 Agustín Creevy, 1 Lucas Noguera Paz
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Leonardo Senatore, 21 Gonzalo Bertanou, 22 Juan Martín Hernández, 23 Ramiro Moyano
England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Alex Lozowski, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Charlie Ewels, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Will Collier, 19 Nick Isiekwe, 20 Don Armand, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Denny Solomona
Date: Saturday, June 10
Venue: Estadio del Bicentenario, San Juan
Kick-off: 16:15 local (19:15 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Egon Seconds (South Africa)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)
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