Saxons XV v Scotland A: Teams

Jonny May and Matt Mullan come into the England Saxons starting line-up for tomorrow night’s clash with Scotland A in Newcastle.

The Gloucester flyer takes over from Wasps’ Christian Wade while Worcester Warriors’ soon-to-be Wasp prop replaces Nick Wood at loose head.

Head coach Jon Callard has kept changes to a minimum to build on the momentum established with last week’s 14-10 win against the Ireland Wolfhounds in Galway.

Saracens Will Fraser, who scored the winning try eight minutes from time last week, and Leicester George Ford, who scored the other nine points from the tee, carry on at openside and fly-half.

The Saxons’ forwards put on a strong display to out-power their Irish counterpart last week but the backs lacked fluidity  especially in attack.

An improved performance will be needed against a Scottish side who “put everything in place to beat the England Saxons at Newcastle” and humiliated the Saxons 35-0 in Galashiels last year.

Callard said: “If you don’t get it right at international level, sides like this Scotland one will punish you heavily and that’s what happened last year.

“We’ve all learned from that and we’re determined to get it absolutely right this time round.”

“We put in a really gritty performance against Ireland and to win over there was a deserved reward for all that hard work.

“Jonny May and Matt Mullan are both talented players who’ve trained hard to earn the chance to show what they can do against Scotland.”

Meanwhile, Worcester due Alex Grove and Nikki Walker as well as Bath’s Tom Heathcote, Sale’s Richie Vernon and Alasdair Dickinson and Saracens’ Duncan Taylor all start for Scotland A to face their Premiership colleagues.

Last season Scotland’s back-up senior side ran in four unanswered tries to beat the Saxons 35-0 in Netherdale.

Munro said: “This is the first senior representative match of 2013 for a Scottish side and, as an opener for the RBS 6 Nations Championship, we have the opportunity to put a marker down and show what Scottish rugby is about, while those selected have an excellent chance to show why they deserve to feature in the remainder of the RBS 6 Nations campaign.

“Our commitment to our defensive structure and aggression, our discipline and our willingness to support one another if and when we have the chance to cut loose in attack are of paramount importance.”

“Everything this team has done has been designed to put us in a position to beat the England Saxons at Newcastle.

England Saxons: Elliot Daly (London Wasps); Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Joel Tomkins (Saracens), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins), Tom Biggs (Bath Rugby); George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens); Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors), Joe Gray (Harlequins), Paul Doran-Jones (Northampton Saints); Graham Kitchener (Leicester Tigers), George Robson (Harlequins); George Kruis (Saracens), Will Fraser (Saracens), Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers, Capt.).

Replacements: Rob Buchanan (Harlequins), Nick Wood (Gloucester Rugby), Kieran Brookes (Leicester Tigers), Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers), Jamie Gibson (London Irish), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), George Lowe (Harlequins), Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby).

Scotland A: Greig Tonks; Duncan Taylor, Alex Grove, Alex Dunbar, Nikki Walker; Tom Heathcote, Sean Kennedy; Alasdair Dickinson, Steven Lawrie, Jon Welsh; Tom Ryder, Tim Swinson; Stuart McInally, Richie Vernon, Ryan Wilson (Capt.).

Replacements: Alun Walker, Grant Shiells, Gordon Reid, Robert McAlpine, James Eddie, Jamie Stevenson, Ben Cairns, Dougie Fife.

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