Stephen Myler will not get the chance to start an England Test in New Zealand after Stuart Lancaster confirmed Freddie Burns will get the nod in Hamilton on Saturday.
Saints star Myler will hope to have done enough to have earned a place on the bench, but Sale’s Danny Cipriani provides competition for a replacements role.
Cipriani started Tuesday morning’s 38-7 victory against Super Rugby side Crusaders, with Myler coming off the bench in the 47th minute.
The Northampton player played a part in Anthony Watson’s try and would have hoped his fine form for his club in their Premiership-winning campaign would earn him a Test start.
But Burns, who was in the first 15 in the first Test against the All Blacks, will be the man in the driving seat this weekend in the absence of injured Owen Farrell.
“Obviously it’s hugely disappointing for Owen because he wanted to finish the season with the third Test, but these things happen,” England boss Lancaster said.
“Freddie and whoever we decide for the bench slot now has another opportunity.
“The challenge facing Freddie is to back up that performance that he produced in the first Test into the third Test. I’m confident he’ll be ready.”