England recall Joe Marler and Will Stuart to face New Zealand

Coach Steve Borthwick says England ‘want to find out more about ourselves’.

England’s Will Stuart in training
England’s Will Stuart in training (Adam Davy/PA)

England have made two front row changes for Saturday’s clash with New Zealand in Dunedin.

Props Joe Marler and Will Stuart are the only changes to the side which beat Japan 52-17 in Tokyo, replacing Bevan Rodd and Dan Cole.

Stuart scored two tries as England scored 19 unanswered points in the last 10 minutes to draw 25-25 draw at Twickenham in the sides’ last meeting in November 2022.

Cole drops to the bench and is in line to win his 114th cap to equal Jason Leonard as England’s second most capped men’s player, while Fin Baxter and Ollie Sleightholme could win their first caps.

Alex Coles replaces the suspended Charlie Ewels among the substitutes with Ben Spencer coming onto the bench for Harry Randall.

England coach Steve Borthwick said: “It doesn’t get more challenging than playing New Zealand at home, but it’s exactly where we want to be.

“We want to find out more about ourselves and test ourselves against one of the best teams in the world.

“Test rugby is a game of fine margins, so our mindset is going to be very important on Saturday. We’ll need to be mentally strong, play a tactically smart game, and maintain our discipline.”