England debut for Pearson as he starts alongside Saints skipper Ludlam in Cardiff

New Saints flanker Tom Pearson will make his England debut in the World Cup warm-up match against Wales on Saturday (kick-off 5.30pm).
Tom Pearson (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Tom Pearson (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Tom Pearson (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Pearson will start alongside Saints skipper Lewis Ludlam in the back row at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

The clash will provide the Saints duo with the opportunity to make their final impressions on head coach Steve Borthwick before he picks his final 33-man World Cup squad on Monday.

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Ahead of this Saturday’s clash, Borthwick said: “England versus Wales in Cardiff is always an exciting and keenly contested fixture.

“I am sure this Saturday will be no different as a tremendous first Test match of the Summer Nations Series.

“We have been impressed with how the whole squad has applied itself both on and off the field over this training camp.

"We are now looking forward to returning to Test match rugby as we continue our preparations for the Rugby World Cup in France.”

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Saturday’s clash against Wales is England’s first of four Summer Nations Series fixtures which will be shown live and exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

England team to face Wales: 15 Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 22 caps); 14 Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 18 caps), 13 Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 15 caps), 12 Guy Porter (Leicester Tigers, 4 caps), 11 Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 14 caps); 10 Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 21 caps), 9 Danny Care (Harlequins, 87 caps); 1 Ellis Genge (c) (Bristol Bears, 48 caps), 2 Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, 6 caps), 3 Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 25 caps); 4 David Ribbans (Toulon, 5 caps), 5 George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap); 6 Lewis Ludlam (Saints, 19 caps), 7 Tom Pearson (Saints, uncapped), 8 Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 14 caps)

Replacements: 16 Theo Dan (Saracens, uncapped), 17 Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 2 caps), 18 Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 61 caps), 19 Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks, 19 caps), 20 Tom Willis (Saracens, uncapped), 21 Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 12 caps), 22 George Ford (Sale Sharks, 81 caps), 23 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 56 caps)

Elsewhere, Saints duo Sam Matavesi and Temo Mayanavanua will start for Fiji against Japan on Saturday.

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The Fiji Water Flying Fijians’ play their third match of the summer, at Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground in Japan this weekend, having beaten Tonga (36-20) and Samoa (33-19) last month.

Hooker Matavesi, who scored in the side’s summer opener against Tonga, will add to his 23 international caps to date, with new signing Mayanavanua set to earn his 11th cap.