Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles

Crane captains England on home ground

Figure image
Jordan Crane will captain England Saxons on his home ground when Ireland A visit Welford Road on Friday evening (7.45pm kick-off). The Tigers No8 is joined in the Saxons XV by club colleagues Ollie Smith, who is named as vice-captain, and Tom Varndell.

Crane, who has previously skippered England at U19 and U21 levels, leads a team which includes six capped players and has an average age of just 23.

“Jordan has captained England teams very successfully in the past,” said England Saxons head coach Steve Bates.

“Playing in front of a home crowd, I’ve got no doubt he will lead from the front, which is exactly what we need.  He’s already made a big contribution to training and I’m confident he’s the right man for the job.”

The squad trained for the first time on Monday but already Bates and assistant coaches Simon Hardy and Graham Rowntree are very satisfied with their progress. 

“Training has gone fantastically well,” said Bates. “Having seen the strength and experience of the Ireland side, we’re fully prepared for a very tough but very exciting match. Their players have 150 caps between them and in likes of Shane Horgan and Alan Quinlan they have some very experienced international players.

“With several retirements after the World Cup, there are huge potential opportunities for such a young and talented side. This is a very exciting time for English rugby.”

Former Tigers players James Grindal and Will Skinner have been named among the replacements.

Ollie Smith recovered from injury well enough to play for Tigers last weekend, coming off the bench during the second half in the Guinness Premiership win over Newcastle Falcons, but Sale Sharks flanker Magnus Lund was not considered after picking up an injury and James Simpson-Daniel was withdrawn from selection after failing to recover completely from a dead leg. 

Tickets for the first England international at this level to be held at Welford Road for 10 years are on sale now from the Tigers ticket hotline on 08701 28 34 30 or http://www.leicestertigers.com/ priced from £20 for adults and £8 for juniors.

England Saxons team (v Ireland A, Welford Road, Friday, 7.45pm)
15 Nick Abendanon (Bath Rugby)*
14 Tom Varndell (Leicester Tigers)*
13 Ollie Smith (Leicester Tigers, vice captain)*
12 Shane Geraghty (London Irish)*
11 Delon Armitage (London Irish)
10 Ryan Lamb (Gloucester Rugby)
 9 Lee Dickson (Newcastle Falcons)
 1 Nick Wood (Gloucester Rugby)
 2 David Paice (London Irish)
 3 Jason Hobson (Bristol Rugby)
 4 Tom Palmer (London Wasps)*
 5 Nick Kennedy (London Irish)
 6 Phil Dowson (Newcastle Falcons)
 7 Ben Woods (Newcastle Falcons)
 8 Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers, captain)

16 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
17 David Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)
18 George Skivington (London Wasps)
19 Will Skinner (Harlequins)
20 James Grindal (Newcastle Falcons)
21 Anthony Allen (Gloucester Rugby)*
22 Mike Brown (Harlequins)*
* Denotes capped players