Greenwood to captain England 'A'
March 1, 2000

Will Greenwood will captain England in Friday night's A International against Wales at Bath.

The Leicester and British Lions' centre is among four senior internationals on parade, being joined by fly-half Paul Grayson, wing Spencer Brown and hooker Mark Regan.

Greenwood, 27, is battling to regain his Test midfield place, having fallen behind Mike Catt and Mike Tindall in the current England pecking order.

And he becomes England A's third skipper in as many matches this term, following Saracens' pair Tony Diprose and Mark Mapletoft.

Like Greenwood, Grayson will be looking for a big performance to try and attract England coach Clive Woodward's attention.

Grayson withdrew from England's Six National squad with a shoulder injury before the opening game against Ireland last month giving Alex King an opportunity to understudy Jonny Wilkinson.

The Saints pivot takes over from Mapletoft with Greenwood replacing Gloucester centre Chris Yates and Bath's Regan having a run-out on home soil instead of Northampton hooker Steve Walter.

There are two other changes from the side beaten by France A in Blagnac 12 days ago, Gloucester lock Mark Cornwell handed an opportunity above Craig Gillies and Saracens' prop Julian White replacing Wasps tight head Will Green.

Llanelli forward Gillies suffered a facial injury playing for his club against Whitland in a Welsh Cup tie last weekend.

Initial fears were that he'd suffered a fractured cheek bone, but scans subsequently revealed a fracture of the eye socket duct, and Gillies is now looking at one week out, rather than two months, as first thought.

Wales A, whose line-up includes Lions' centre Scott Gibbs, beat England at Wrexham last season to clinch the Grand Slam, and having already toppled France and Italy this term, they remain on course to repeat that achievement.

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