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Will Carpenter

writes

Posted Friday, May 31st 2019

O'Conor starts against Barbarians, Sheedy among replacements

Piers O’Conor has been named in England XV starting line-up for Sunday’s Quilter Cup match against the Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium, with Callum Sheedy among the replacements (KO 3:30pm, live on Sky Sports).

The versatile O’Conor starts on the right wing against Pat Lam’s star-studded Barbarians side, featuring Bristol Bears quartet Charles Piutau, John Afoa, Steven Luatua and Chris Vui.

The prestigious invitation side will also be coached by Conor McPhillips (assistant coach) and Jonathan Thomas (forwards coach), with analyst Stuart Powell and head of medical, Rory Murray, also involved.
 
Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks), in his fourth Barbarians fixture, will captain the side with Bath Rugby’s Elliott Stooke named alongside him in the second row.
 
Marcus Smith (Harlequins), who has regularly trained with the England senior side in recent seasons, will play at 10 with former England U20 scrum half Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints) inside him.
 
Joe Marchant (Harlequins), scorer of 11 Premiership tries for his club this season, is named at centre outside Newcastle Falcons’ Johnny Williams at 12.
 
Former England U20, O’Conor will start on the right wing after an impressive first season at Bristol Bears with Josh Bassett, Wasps’ top try scorer this season, on the left wing.
 
Simon Hammersley (Newcastle Falcons), who will join Sale Sharks next season, is named at full back. He has been among the outstanding players in his position during this season’s Premiership.

Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints) is the only full England international to start the match and will play at No 8 with Ben Curry (Sale Sharks) and Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins) alongside him in the backrow. Harrison has five caps to his name with his last England Test coming in 2016 against Australia.

Callum Sheedy is on the bench for England XV against the Barbarians.

Tommy Taylor (Wasps) and Paul Hill (Northampton Saints) are the only other two players in the 23-man squad to have been capped for England and are named as finishers.
 
Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks), Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby) and Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints) will all start in the front row.
 
Jim Mallinder said: “Preparations have gone really well this week. It’s a new group of players and coaches but we have come together and had some really good training days and we are looking forward to the game on Sunday.
 
“We have got real balance in the squad between some experienced Premiership players, some with international caps and a lot of youth that has come through the system and played at England U18 and U20 level, but also have played really well for their clubs.
 
“This game will be massive for them and you can see their motivation and desire. They all have really deserved the opportunity this weekend.”
 
On the opposition, Mallinder said: “With the Barbarians you have got to expect the unexpected. We have seen their squad full of world-class players and we know they will be doing world-class things on the pitch. We have got to embrace that challenge, but we have to concentrate on our own game and play as a team.”
 
On Beaumont as captain, he added: “I think Josh Beaumont is a great player, a very good leader and has experience of playing in these fixtures. I’ve watched him play for Sale Sharks this season, he’s had a terrific season and I’m really looking forward to him leading the team on Sunday.”
 
England Women will play the Barbarians Women earlier on Sunday, kicking off at 12:45pm. Tickets for the Barbarians double header are available from £20 for adults and £10 for juniors. For more information and to book tickets, visit www.englandrugby.com/tickets