Future Saint Francis gets first England start as Hartley skippers again in Argentina

Future Saints back Piers Francis will make his first England start on Saturday.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 15th June 2017, 9:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 3:22 pm
Dylan Hartley will skipper England once again (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Dylan Hartley will skipper England once again (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Francis, who will move to Northampton from Super Rugby side the Blues this summer, came off the bench and made a big impression against Argentina in San Juan last Saturday.

The 26-year-old set up second-half scores for George Ford and Denny Solomona in a dramatic 38-34 first Test success.

And Francis will now get his chance to star from the start as he lines up at inside centre in the second and final Test in Santa Fe on Saturday.

Dylan Hartley will again captain the team, but Harry Mallinder and Jamal Ford-Robinson, who is another man who will join Saints this summer, will play no part.

It means Mallinder and Ford-Robinson have been limited to gaining experience on the training ground and have yet to win their first caps for their country.

“We know we will need to improve our performance from last weekend if we are going to win on Saturday but we have prepared in detail and intensely this week,” said England boss Eddie Jones.

“Argentina will be a much better and stronger side than last weekend so the message to the guys all week has been; it’s up to us to raise our levels.

“It is great to welcome back Chris Robshaw into the squad. He would have been disappointed to miss the first Test but has worked hard to be ready for this weekend. Robbo has been one of England’s best players over the last two years and he will add a lot of experience and work rate into our backrow.

"It will also be exciting to see Sam Underhill make his debut too having been unfortunate not to play last week because of injury.

“Despite missing 30 players on this tour, we set out to win the series 2-0. It would be a fantastic achievement for this young and talented squad to do that.

"On Saturday we want to finish the season and the halfway point of a four-year World Cup programme on a real high.”

England team to face Argentina

15. Mike Brown, vc (Harlequins, 61 caps)

14. Marland Yarde (Harlequins, 12 caps)

13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 6 caps)

12. Piers Francis (Saints, 1 cap)

11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 26 caps)

10. George Ford, vc (Bath Rugby, 36 caps)

9. Danny Care, vc (Harlequins, 72 caps)

1. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)

2. Dylan Hartley, c (Saints, 85 caps)

3. Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 1 cap)

4. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 4 caps)

5. Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 43 caps)

6. Chris Robshaw (Harlequins 55 caps)

7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, uncapped)

8. Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 9 caps)


16. Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors, uncapped)

17. Matt Mullan (Wasps, 16 caps)

18. Will Collier (Harlequins, 1 cap)

19. Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, 1 cap)

20. Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 1 cap)

21. Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs, 1 cap)

22. Alex Lozowski (Saracens, 1 cap)

23. Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks, 1 cap)