English Rugby
Saxons ring the changes for Scotland
ESPNscrum Staff
February 1, 2012
Leicester's Ed Slater breaks a tackle to score, Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers, Aviva Premiership, Kingston Park, Newcastle, England, September 17, 2011
Ed Slater will make his Saxons debut against Scotland A on Friday © Getty Images

The England Saxons have made eight changes from the side which dispatched Ireland for their trip to face Scotland A at Galashiels on Friday night.

The Saxons beat the Ireland Wolfhounds 23-17 last weekend but Jon Callard has rung the changes with lock Ed Slater and centre Jonathan Joseph handed their Saxons debuts. Joseph comes into the side for Matt Hopper while Gloucester's Jonny May starts instead of Matt Banahan. Bath fullback Nick Abendanon fills the void left by the exiled Delon Armitage. Northampton Saints half-back Ryan Lamb gets the nod over Freddie Burns.

And in the forwards, Slater comes into the second-row in place of Matt Garvey while Nick Wood and Chris Brooker fill in for Matt Mullan and Joe Gray respectively. Tom Johnson will anchor the back of the scrum at No.8 in place of Thomas Waldrom.

Saxons coach Callard has called on his side to continue their run of form after their win over the Wolfhounds. "We need to back up that performance against the Wolfhounds by getting it right away from home against Scotland this week," said Callard. "The endeavour and energy we showed last week at Exeter was first class but not everything was absolutely spot on and we need to improve our accuracy and execution.

"We always planned to make changes over the course of these two games and it means there are more chances for those who've been playing well in the Aviva Premiership and in Europe this season. As we saw last week, Thomas Waldrom and Matt Banahan stepped back up to train with the senior squad after 80 minutes for the Saxons so the potential opportunities for this group are very clear."

Sale Sharks full back Rob Miller and Bath Rugby prop Kane Palma-Newport, 21, will travel to Scotland with the squad as cover.

England Saxons team to face Scotland A:

Nick Abendanon (Bath Rugby), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Jonathan Joseph (London Irish), Billy Twelvetrees (Leicester Tigers), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Ryan Lamb (Northampton Saints), Ben Spencer (Saracens); Nick Wood (Gloucester Rugby), Chris Brooker (Harlequins), Paul Doran-Jones (Northampton Saints), Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers), George Robson (Harlequins), James Gaskell (Sale Sharks, captain), Andy Saull (Saracens), Tom Johnson (Exeter)

Replacements: Joe Gray (Harlequins), Rupert Harden (Gloucester Rugby), Kearnan Myall (Sale Sharks), David Seymour (Sale Sharks), Paul Hodgson (London Irish), Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby), Miles Benjamin (Worcester Warriors)

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