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Danny Care makes the bench as England name team for the Barbarians

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Alex Davidson/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

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Danny Care is poised to complete his shock England comeback after being named on the bench for Sunday’s non-cap international against the Barbarians at Twickenham. Care won the last of his 84 caps in 2018 but has forced his way back into Eddie Jones’ plans through his electric form for Harlequins over the last two seasons.

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The 35-year-old Care will provide cover from the England bench for starting scrum-half Harry Randall, who has also been appointed vice-captain with Tom Curry leading a team that contains just three of the players that started last time out versus France in March – Joe Marchant, Marcus Smith and Sam Underhill.

In the front row, props Bevan Rodd and Will Collier join Jack Walker (hooker). The finally fit-again Jonny Hill is at lock alongside Charlie Ewels. Underhill is at openside flanker and Alex Dombrandt is No8. Tommy Freeman is at full-back, Joe Cokanasiga at right wing and Jonny May, another player who missed the entire Guinness Six Nations through injury, is on the left.

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Will Skelton on Champions Cup celebrations and playing for the Barbarians | RugbyPass Offload | Episode 38
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Will Skelton on Champions Cup celebrations and playing for the Barbarians | RugbyPass Offload | Episode 38

Marchant is the outside centre, Mark Atkinson is at inside and Marcus Smith is fly-half. Jack Singleton, Will Goodrick-Clarke, Patrick Schickerling, Courtney Lawes, Jack Willis, Care, Orlando Bailey and Jack Nowell are named as finishers.

It was Wednesday when England assistant Richard Cockerill described how well Care has fitted in with the England squad at Bagshot this week. “He has been on great form for a little while now. He is full of energy and life. He is a good character and clearly a very good player so he is adding on and off the field, it has been really positive.

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“He is very experienced, isn’t he? He has worked with Eddie before, he has worked with a lot of the guys that are in the squad now. He is a bright man, he picks things up very quickly. He is clearly a very instinctive player, he has dropped in very easily and training very well and being very good with the group.

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Jones added on Friday: “This is a young team, they have prepared really well and worked hard over the past few camps to come together as a group. It is a great opportunity to play in this England XV side and show what they can do.

“We are looking forward to playing against an unusually French Barbarians side, which you normally only get when you play the French Barbarians. We will use it as an opportunity to develop combinations and assess players for the Australia tour. We will put our best foot forward and it should make for a great game of rugby for all of the supporters at Twickenham.”

The Barbarians, coached this week by France boss Fabien Galthie, included three recent Heineken Champions Cup winners with La Rochelle – midfielder Levani Botia, hooker Pierre Bourgarit and second row Will Skelton – in an XV that featured 14 players from Top 14 clubs.

ENGLAND (vs Barbarians, Sunday)
15. Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints)
14. Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby)
13. Joe Marchant (Harlequins)
12. Mark Atkinson (Gloucester Rugby)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)
10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
9. Harry Randall (Bristol Bears)
1. Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks)
2. Jack Walker (Harlequins)
3. Will Collier (Harlequins)
4. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)
5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs)
6. Tom Curry (C) (Sale Sharks)
7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)
8. Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins)

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FINISHERS
16. Jack Singleton (Gloucester Rugby)
17. Will Goodrick-Clarke (London Irish)
18. Patrick Schickerling (Exeter Chiefs)
19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
20. Jack Willis (Wasps)
21. Danny Care (Harlequins)
22. Orlando Bailey (Bath Rugby)
23. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)

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