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Crane to captain England Saxons

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Jordan Crane will captain England Saxons against the Ireland Wolfhounds at Galway on Friday night (7.35pm).

Crane, who helped steer Leicester into the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup against Toulouse on Sunday, is one of four Tigers players in the matchday squad.

He is joined in the starting XV by Tigers teammates Graham Kitchener and George Ford while Ed Slater is named among the replacements.

Crane is one of six full internationals in the team along with Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors), Paul Doran-Jones (Northampton Saints), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins) and Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens).

Ford, who starts at fly-half, is one of five players making their Saxons debuts. Elliot Daly (London Wasps) and Joel Tomkins (Saracens) are in the back line while Saracens pair George Kruis and Will Fraser start in the back row at The Sportsground.

Four more replacements are also set to make their first appearances at this level with former England Under 20 trio Rob Buchanan (Harlequins), Shaun Knight (Gloucester Rugby) and George Lowe (Harlequins) joined by ex-Rugby League international Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby).

After facing the Wolfhounds away from home the Saxons return to England to take on Scotland A at Newcastle on Friday, February 1 (8pm).

England Saxons
15 Elliot Daly (London Wasps)
14 Christian Wade (London Wasps)
13 Joel Tomkins (Saracens)
12 Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins)
11 Tom Biggs (Bath Rugby)
10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
9 Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)
1 Nick Wood (Gloucester Rugby)
2 Joe Gray (Harlequins)
3 Paul Doran-Jones (Northampton Saints)
4 Graham Kitchener (Leicester Tigers)
5 George Robson (Harlequins)
6 George Kruis (Saracens)
7 Will Fraser (Saracens)
8 Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers, captain)

16 Rob Buchanan (Harlequins)
17 Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors)
18 Shaun Knight (Gloucester Rugby)
19 Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers)
20 Jamie Gibson (London Irish)
21 Joe Simpson (London Wasps)
22 George Lowe (Harlequins)
23 Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)