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Chris Ashton to make first England start in four years against All Blacks

Chris Ashton will make his first start for England in more than four years against New Zealand at Twickenham.

Eddie Jones has made three changes for the visit of the All Blacks on Saturday, bringing in Ashton after he came on from the replacements in last weekend's 12-10 win over South Africa.

He takes Jack Nowell's place on the wing while in the forwards Ben Moon makes his first England start at loose-head and Sam Underhill replaces the injured Tom Curry in the back-row.

There is no place for Zach Mercer or Manu Tuilagi in the matchday squad but Courtney Lawes has recovered from injury and returns.

Elsewhere Owen Farrell and Dylan Hartley are again named as co-captains while Nowell, Danny Care and George Ford are selected as replacements.

"The expectation for Saturday is no different to any other Test match. We want to be at our best, better than we were in the previous Test match and we want to play with pride and passion which ignites the fans," said England head coach Eddie Jones.

"Every England side I've coached prepares well and the players want to be at their best.

"At the moment we have a very young squad, particularly in the forwards and I've enjoyed how much they've worked together because the collective will of the forwards is so important."

For Ashton selection marks the high-point of his unlikely return to the England fold.

It has been four long years since his last England start which also came against New Zealand in Hamilton back in June 2014. 

He has good memories of England's last victory over the All Blacks at Twickenham in 2012, when he scored a try in a 38-21 win.

His international future looked uncertain after a move to Toulon from Saracens in 2017, although he made a success of his spell in France, scoring 24 tries in the Top 14.

He returned to the Gallagher Premiership with Sale at the beginning of the season but suffered another set-back when he was hit with a seven-week ban for a dangerous tackle during pre-season.

But good performances in training camps and a lively appearance against the Springboks last week have re-opened the door.

Tuilagi was also in line for an unlikely return but missed England's 12-11 win over South Africa last weekend with a groin injury, and Jones confirmed he was still not ready ahead of the All Blacks.

""Manu Tuilagi is again not quite right, he did some training on Wednesday but is still a little tight in his running so we have again decided not to risk him," said the England head coach.

"We have a really good bench. The finishers did well last week and again they will be vital on Saturday against New Zealand in the last 20 minutes which we know has a very significant impact on the result of the Test match."

England team to face New Zealand

Elliot Daly, Chris Ashton, Henry Slade, Ben Te'o, Jonny May, Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs; Ben Moon, Dylan Hartley, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Brad Shields, Sam Underhill, Mark Wilson

Replacements: Jamie George, Alec Hepburn, Harry Williams, Charlie Ewels, Courtney Lawes, Danny Care, George Ford, Jack Nowell 

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