England v New Zealand: Chris Ashton makes first start in four years


England v New Zealand
Venue: Twickenham Date: 10 November Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 live (build-up from 14:30) and live text commentary on BBC Sport website. Highlights on BBC Two at 19:30 GMT.

Chris Ashton will make his first England start in more than four years in Saturday’s match against New Zealand at Twickenham.

The Sale wing comes in for Jack Nowell, who drops to the bench.

Prop Ben Moon replaces Alec Hepburn in the front row and flanker Sam Underhill starts instead of the injured Tom Curry as boss Eddie Jones makes three changes from the side that beat South Africa.

There is no place for Manu Tuilagi in the matchday squad.

Despite his side starting as underdogs, Jones insists the expectation remains the same as ever.

“The expectation for Saturday is no different to any other Test match,” he said.

It is the first meeting between the two teams since the All Blacks secured a narrow 24-21 win at Twickenham in November 2014. In total, New Zealand have won 32 of 40 Tests against England.

Their last defeat to England came in December 2012, when Ashton scored a try in a 38-21 win for the hosts at Twickenham.

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Ashton, 31, has made only one appearance for club side Sale this season, scoring a hat-trick against Connacht after his debut was delayed by a suspension for a tip-tackle in a pre-season friendly.

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He joined the club in the summer after a successful one-year stint at Toulon where he scored a record 24 tries in a Top 14 season.

He was named in Jones’ first Six Nations squad in 2016 while at Saracens, but missed the tournament through a 10-week eye-gouging ban.

He was subsequently overlooked for the summer tour of Australia later that year and turned down a call-up for the second-string Saxons tour of South Africa.

Ashton has a total of 19 international tries in 40 appearances for England.

England: Elliot Daly; Chris Ashton, Henry Slade, Ben Te’o, Jonny May; Owen Farrell (co-captain), Ben Youngs; Ben Moon, Dylan Hartley (co-captain), Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Brad Shields, Sam Underhill, Mark Wilson.

Replacements: Jamie George, Alec Hepburn, Harry Williams, Charlie Ewels, Courtney Lawes, Danny Care, George Ford, Jack Nowell.

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