Harlequins number nine Danny Care will miss England’s first Test against New Zealand on Saturday with a shoulder injury.

Ben Youngs will be promoted to the scrum-half position, alongside new Leicester Tigers team-mate Freddie Burns. Premiership final-winning Lee Dickson will be on the bench just a week after featuring in Northampton Saints’ 24-20 victory over Saracens.

Coach Stuart Lancaster will be fielding a severely understrength side in Auckland, as he is unable to call upon 13 players from the domestic final.

Among those are winger Chris Ashton, centres Luther Burrell and Brad Barritt, as well as, fly-halves Owen Farrell and Stephen Myler.

This has left Lancaster to field former rugby league star Kyle Eastmond at centre, whilst Marland Yarde and Jonny make up the wing positions.

The coach has also had to fiddle around with the forwards, having to leave out Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Billy Vunipola from this weekend’s team.

Hooker Rob Webber, Tigers’ Geoff Parling and number eight Ben Morgan will all start in their place. There could also be debuts for Worcester Warriors fullback Chris Pennell and Harlequins’ Joe Gray.

Danny Cipriani is also amongst the replacements as he looks for his first England cap since a 32-6 defeat to the All Blacks in November 2008.

Since that crushing defeat six years ago, the two countries have played each other just twice.

England were defeated 30-22 at Twickenham, but overcame the All Blacks 38-21 a year earlier. That was the last New Zealand lost, and look high likely to continue their winning streak.

Despite losing Kieran Read and Julian Savea to injury, the Southern Hemisphere nation has talent in abundance to call upon.

Their starting line-up has 779 caps for the World Champions between them, a staggering 492 more than their opponents on Saturday.

The sheer contrast between the teams for this weekend makes New Zealand favourites for the win and put them in pole position to retain the Hillary Shield.

The trophy, first contested in 2008, is an annual match played in honour of New Zealand mountaineer and explorer Sir Edmund Hillary.

Previous encounters have been one-off matches held in England, with their 2012 win being their only Hillary Shield victory. Yet, the winner of this summer series will lift the trophy and for the first time it has been claimed in the Southern Hemisphere.

But it will be contested once again in five months when England host the All Blacks at Twickenham in November.

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Topics:
England Rugby
Rugby Union