England v New Zealand, Twickenham, November 21
Shaw recalled to face All Blacks
November 18, 2009

England manager Martin Johnson has made three changes to his side to face New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday, recalling veteran lock Simon Shaw and dropping youngsters Tom Croft and Shane Geraghty. Johnson has reacted following a dismal display in a 16-9 victory over Argentina last weekend.

Shaw replaces Louis Deacon in the second-row and will play his first Test since the British & Irish Lions tour ended with a victory over the Springboks in Johannesburg. Croft has lost his blindside berth to Joe Worsley while the grunt of Biarritz centre Ayoola Erinle has been preferred to the more expressive Geraghty.

Croft's omission is a disappointing end to a week which saw the three Test British & Irish Lion named as an IRB World Player of the Year nominee.

There is also a positional change in the back-three, where Ugo Monye's nightmare showing at fullback against the Pumas has seen him shifted to his preferred wing position. Mark Cueto goes the other way and will start his fourth Test in the No.15 jersey, his first since the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

On the bench there is a call for Sale's Mathew Tait for the first time this season while Bath prop David Wilson is fit enough to take a place among the replacements. His team-mate Duncan Bell retains the No.3 jersey in a front-row also containing Dylan Hartley and Tim Payne.

Jonny Wilkinson will have a more direct midfield option outside him in Erinle this weekend and will also want to improve on a poor kicking display against the Pumas.

"Erinle and Worsley are great ball-carriers. We know we will have to defend on Saturday but if you can bring those two players in it's a great opportunity," said Johnson. "The guys have to be able to defend and attack. It's not that Shane or Tom have done anything wrong, it's a case of picking a team to win the game.

"I'd rather win a game and then get criticised for style afterwards. We were a bit conservative in the first half on Saturday. We fixed it, maybe later than we should have done, but we got the game won which was the important thing."

England: Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks); Matt Banahan (Bath), Dan Hipkiss (Leicester Tigers), Ayoola Erinle (Biarritz), Ugo Monye (Harlequins); Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon), Paul Hodgson (London Irish), Tim Payne (London Wasps), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Duncan Bell (Bath), Simon Shaw (London Wasps), Steve Borthwick (Saracens, capt), Joe Worsley (London Wasps), Lewis Moody (Leicester Tigers), James Haskell (Stade Francais)

Replacements: Steve Thompson (Brive), David Wilson (Bath), Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Danny Care (Harlequins), Shane Geraghty (Northampton Saints), Mathew Tait (Sale Sharks)

© Scrum.com

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