Hartley's return adds bite to England
Rugby:Christian Wade will get a chance to press his claims for the Test series against South Africa after being named in a strong England team to face the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday.The exciting Wasps wing has been selected ahead of David Strettle and is the only member of the England back division who did not feature in the RBS Six Nations Championship.
Wade finished second in the Aviva Premiership try-scoring charts this season — touching down nine times in 15 games — despite missing three months of the campaign through injury.
England coach Stuart Lancaster is without his 18-strong Leicester and Harlequins contingent, who meet in the Premiership final tomorrow. Charlie Hodgson returns to fly-half, where he started the Six Nations, and Owen Farrell reverts to inside centre with Brad Barritt shifting to outside centre.
Lee Dickson continues at scrum-half with full-back Ben Foden and wing Chris Ashton completing England’s near full-strength back division. Up front, Dylan Hartley starts at hooker in his first game back after serving an eight-week ban for biting Stephen Ferris in England’s Six Nations victory over Ireland in March.
Hartley will be propped by Matt Stevens, who starts on the loosehead side, and Paul Doran-Jones while Mouritz Botha and Tom Palmer pack down in the second row. Uncapped flankers Carl Fearns and Tom Johnson start in the back row either side of captain, Phil Dowson.
England:B Foden (Northampton Saints); C Ashton (Northampton Saints), B Barritt (Saracens), O Farrell (Saracens), C Wade (London Wasps); C Hodgson (Saracens), L Dickson (Northampton Saints); M Stevens (Saracens), D Hartley (Northampton Saints), P Doran Jones (Northampton Saints), M Botha (Saracens), T Palmer (Stade Francais), T Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), C Fearns (Bath Rugby), P Dowson
(Northampton Saints, capt). Replacements:L Mears (Bath Rugby), M Mullan (Worcester Warriors), J Launchbury (London Wasps), J Gibson (London Irish), R Wigglesworth (Saracens), J Joseph (London Irish), A Goode (Saracens).