Farrell Returns to England Rugby Lineup for New Zealand Test

Owen Farrell returns to start at fly-half for the England rugby team in this weekend’s Test against world champion New Zealand.

The 21-year-old replaces Toby Flood, who suffered a toe injury in last week’s 16-15 loss to South Africa. It’s the only change to the starting lineup for the Dec. 1 game at Twickenham in London.

England is looking to end its autumn series on a winning note after losses to Australia and South Africa.

“We asked for a big response from the players after Australia and we got one last Saturday against South Africa, although ultimately we were denied,” coach Stuart Lancaster said on the Rugby Football Association’s website. “That frustration has been channeled this week and the whole squad has reacted with a determination to get a victory against the top team in the world.”

Lancaster also made two changes to his bench with Freddie Burns taking over for Flood and Courtney Lawes replacing Mouritz Botha. Dan Carter returns at fly-half for New Zealand after missing last week’s 33-10 win over Wales with a leg injury.

England team: Alex Goode, Chris Ashton, Manu Tuilagi, Brad Barritt, Mike Brown, Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs, Alex Corbisiero, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Geoff Parling, Tom Wood, Chris Ropshaw (captain), Ben Morgan.

Reserves: David Paice, David Wilson, Mako Vunipola, Courtney Lawes, James Haskell, Danny Care, Freddie Burns, Jonathan Joseph.

New Zealand team: Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Julian Savea, Dan Carter, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam, Samuel Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock.

Reserves: Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Luke Romano, Victor Vito, Piri Weepu, Aaron Cruden, Ben Smith.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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