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Fin Baxter promoted as England chase history at Eden Park

Fin Baxter during an England Training session at Pennyhill Park on June 04, 2024 in Bagshot, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Fin Baxter will make his first start for England in the second Test against New Zealand on Saturday.


The 22-year-old Harlequins prop, who won his first cap off the bench in the 16-15 first Test defeat in Dunedin, again replaces his clubmate Joe Marler who has been ruled out with a foot injury.

Bevan Rodd comes onto the bench in the only other change to the squad for Auckland.

By contrast, fellow prop Dan Cole will win his 115th cap from the bench at Eden Park to become England’s second most-capped men’s player behind Ben Youngs (127).

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England coach Steve Borthwick paid tribute to Cole, who will move ahead of Jason Leonard.

“Dan has shown nothing but dedication and determination throughout his career, and reaching this milestone is a remarkable feat,” he said.

“He is a superb rugby player, a wonderful role model and we all look forward to sharing a memorable day with him on Saturday.

“Eden Park is a stadium packed with history and with memories of great rugby encounters.

“New Zealand has a formidable record at this venue, but with that comes the pressure of expectation. It will be interesting to see how New Zealand manages that expectation in front of a full house.”


Scrum-half Finlay Christie is the only new face in the New Zealand starting line-up, replacing the injured TJ Perenara, with the uncapped Cortez Ratima taking his place on the bench.

England side to face New Zealand in game 2

15. George Furbank

14. Immanuel Feyi-Waboso


13. Henry Slade – vice-captain

12. Ollie Lawrence

11. Tommy Freeman

10. Marcus Smith

9. Alex Mitchell

1. Fin Baxter

2. Jamie George – captain

3. Will Stuart

4. Maro Itoje – vice-captain

5. George Martin

6. Chandler Cunningham-South

7. Sam Underhill

8. Ben Earl – vice-captain


16. Theo Dan

17. Bevan Rodd

18. Dan Cole

19. Alex Coles

20. Tom Curry

21. Ben Spencer

22. Fin Smith

23. Ollie Sleightholme


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Haami 11 days ago

Finn Baxter, my favorite kind of athlete, because he doesn’t look like one 🤣, I love this kid, looks like he should be sat at the counter of the local ice cream store, chowing down on a chocolate sundae. Not going head to head with some of the biggest nastiest test match props in the world? Bless him, he is going to have a stellar career and will be a pillar of the English pack for the next decade or more, mark my words.

ian 11 days ago

It should be a close tussle. AB’s now have at least three very difficult opponents in world rugby union.

Neil 11 days ago

The dude looks like someone took the head of a 12 year old kid and stuck it on the body of a full grown man.

Toaster 12 days ago

Good player alright
That pic though does not reek athlete
More like the kid off Willie Wonka

Perthstayer 12 days ago

Wales had never beaten Bok until ‘22, Irish won series in NZ, Italy beat WBs, & many more.

England can dominate lineout, do this and kick all points then it is do'able.

Baxter is very hand back up. Will ensure scrum parity.

Timmyboy 12 days ago

Fin Baxter has such a baby face

Jacque 12 days ago

I’d be very suprised if Eng get a result at Eden Park. All Blacks haven’t lost a test there since 1994. Records are meant to be broken but just can’t see it happening this weekend.

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