Jacques van der Westhuyzen
BRITISH and Irish Lions wing Ugo Monye will make his first tour start when England play against the South African Northern Barbarians in Potchefstroom tonight.
The powerfully built winger has recovered from a hamstring injury to be available for the match. A good showing could see him return to the England Test side for the third Test against the Springboks in Port Elizabeth this weekend.
“Ugo is the only player yet to have any game time and I am delighted that he will have a run-out to cap what has been a fantastic club season for him.
“It’s also great to have Jonny May and Karl Dickson here and I am looking forward to seeing how they perform,” England coach Stuart Lancaster told the RFU website.
In all, there are six changes to the side that beat the Southern Barbarians in Kimberley last Wednesday.
At the back, Lee Dickson replaces Danny Care at scrumhalf, Nick Abendanon takes over from Alex Goode at fullback and Christian Wade switches to the right wing for George Lowe, while up front, Tom Youngs gets his first tour start at hooker instead of Joe Gray, as does Jamie Gibson for James Haskell, while Ben Morgan comes in at No8 for Thomas Waldrom.
Dickson, fresh into the squad as an injury replacement for Ben Youngs, will be on the bench.
Lancaster added: “We have talked today about finishing the tour strongly this week and these players have a great opportunity to do this in the second of the two midweek games.
“There are still selection decisions to be made for Saturday but the players’ focus will be on putting in a strong cohesive team performance and building on the positives from last week, but also learning the lessons.”
The Barbarians will be captained by centre JW Jonker and, with no fewer than 13 Pumas players in the 22-man squad, coach Jimmy Stonehouse will be hoping for a good showing from his charges. Kick-off tonight is 7.10pm.
Barbarians starting XV: JC Roos (Pumas), Danwel Demas (Pumas), JW Jonker (Pumas, captain), Joubert Engelbrecht (Leopards), Deon Scholtz (Pumas), Coenie van Wyk (Pumas), Shaun Venter (Pumas); Nicky Steyn (Griffons), MB Lusaseni (Leopards), Jaco Bouwer (Pumas), Rudi Mathee (Pumas), Eduan van der Walt (Pumas), Ashley Buys (Pumas), Torsten van Jaarsveld (Pumas), BG Uys (Leopards). Replacements: Pellow van der Westhuizen (Pumas), Zane Kilian (Valke), Boela Serfontein (Pumas), Martin Sithole (Griffons), Andries Mahoney (Griffons), Hoffman Maritz (Leopards), Tertius Maarman (Griffons).
England starting XV: Nick Abendanon, Christian Wade, Anthony Allen, Jordan Turner-Hall, Ugo Monye, Charlie Hodgson, Lee Dickson, Ben Morgan, Carl Fearns, Jamie Gibson, George Robson (capt), Graham Kitchener, Paul Doran Jones, Tom Youngs, Matt Mullan. Replacements: Joe Gray, Rupert Harden, Mouritz Botha, James Haskell, Karl Dickson, David Strettle, Jonny May.