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Hipkiss ready for Argentina Test

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Dan Hipkiss prepares to end the season with England saying he feels fresh thanks to the work of Richard Cockerill and the Leicester Tigers conditioning team.

Hipkiss is one of six Tigers players named in the matchday 22 for England’s game against Argentina in Manchester on Saturday (kick-off 4pm). He is joined in the starting line-up by lock Louis Deacon while Jordan Crane, Ben Kay, Sam Vesty and Julian White have been named among the replacements.

Hipkiss has made 21 appearances for Tigers this season and played a key role in winning the Guinness Premiership and reaching the Heineken Cup final, and he says he feels fresh going into England's two Test series with Argentina.

Hipkiss said: “I was told by Martin Johnson just before a training session earlier this week that I'd be starting and obviously I can't wait to get out there tomorrow and do what I can to help the team.

“It's been a long season but the Leicester Tigers fitness coaches, Richard Cockerill and the England staff have ensured that I've stayed fresh.

“This will be the third big game for me in the last month after the Guinness Premiership and Heineken Cup finals and these are the sort of occasions you want to be part of.”

The game will be played at Old Trafford where Tigers centre Hipkiss will win his eighth England cap.

He said: “I really like the set up and the feel of Old Trafford and I hope the fans who have bought tickets and turn up on the day make a lot of noise.

“Twickenham is superb but it's always good to have the opportunity of playing in other world class stadiums for your country and Old Trafford has a huge amount of history behind it so to actually play there will be very special.”

He will be joined in the midfield by Newcastle Falcons centre Tom May for the first time on Saturday but Hipkiss says he is pleased with how they have worked together during training.

The 26-year-old Hipkiss said: “Tom's had a great season and he’s a big reason why Newcastle Falcons have performed so well this year.

“He’s a good finisher as he proved last weekend with his second half try against the Barbarians and he deserves his chance.

"We’ve worked well together in training this week and, like the rest of the team, we’ll be doing everything we can to get a result against a very tough Puma's side tomorrow.”