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Lancaster faces flanker dilemma

England have arrived in Salta and Stuart Lancaster will finalise his selections for the first Test against Argentina after Tuesday's ferocious double training session.

Lancaster has some tight decisions to take, particularly at openside flanker where Tom Johnson and Matt Kvesic are competing to face an Argentina side expected to attack England at the breakdown.

There is also competition for places between hookers Rob Webber and David Paice and at scrum-half, where Richard Wigglesworth and Lee Dickson are battling for a start. Dave Attwood, Courtney Lawes and Kearnan Myall, who has impressed on tour so far, are also competing to start in the second row alongside Joe Launchbury.

And Lancaster must choose between Marland Yarde, David Strettle, Jonny May and potentially even Ben Foden for the left wing slot, with Christian Wade set to start on the right.

But it is the anticipated breakdown battle that has dominated England's thoughts since they were given a tough examination by a physical South American XV on Sunday.

England won 41-21 but the performance of the hosts in Montevideo acted like a shot across the bows to Lancaster's men.

"There are decisions to be made in the make-up of the back row and the bench," said Lancaster, who will name his team on Thursday.

"As you can see from the game, the breakdown will be fiercely contested on Saturday and there were times when we didn't deliver as good ball as we wanted.

"I have some decisions to make as to how we go about the game. The most important thing for me is it makes it clear how difficult it will be next Saturday.

"The sessions will be fiercely contested. We need to prepare well on Tuesday in order to get our mindset right for Saturday."


From Belfast Telegraph