Youngs misses out on first Test start in Australia

Michael BaileyNorfolk rugby star Ben Youngs has missed out on a place in Martin Johnson's starting XV for Saturday's first Test with Australia in Perth.The former Gresham's and Holt player, was in scintillating form for Guinness Premiership champions Leicester Tigers last season, but Danny Care has held off the 20-year-old's challenge to take the scrum-half berth for the weekend's Cook Cup clash, leaving Youngs as a replacement.Michael Bailey

Norfolk rugby star Ben Youngs has missed out on a place in Martin Johnson's starting XV for Saturday's first Test with Australia in Perth.

The former Gresham's and Holt player, was in scintillating form for Guinness Premiership champions Leicester Tigers last season, but Danny Care has held off the 20-year-old's challenge to take the scrum-half berth for the weekend's Cook Cup clash, leaving Youngs as a replacement. Bath centre Shontayne Hape will make his England Test debut at the Subiaco Oval, taking over at inside centre from the injured Riki Flutey - one of four changes from the England team that started the final Six Nations game against France.

Hooker Steve Thompson and lock Tom Palmer both start after coming off the bench in Paris, while there is a return to the England team for Leicester flanker Tom Croft. Much to the surprise of the Wallabies, Jonny Wilkinson remains on the bench with Toby Flood retained at fly-half, with Leicester hooker George Chuter and Northampton lock Courtney Lawes both been included on the bench.

England are chasing their first victory over the Wallabies on Australian soil since the 2003 World Cup final - and only their third ever.


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Hape will become the third former New Zealand rugby league international to play for England, following in the footsteps of Henry Paul and Lesley Vainikolo. The 29-year-old who won 14 caps for the Kiwis has been on England's radar since switching codes to sign for Bath in 2008. Hape was in line to make his Test debut against Wales during the Six Nations, just weeks after qualifying for England on residency grounds, before falling ill on the eve of the game.

'I have been very impressed with him. He's a very smart carrier with the ball in hand. He's one of those guys that seems to have a bit more time than most, he's very composed,' said. Johnson.

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