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Wood full of fire for clash

Tom Wood will fire England up for their beach-side clash with a South American XV in Montevideo with the warning: "We are not here on holiday".

Wood captains England for the first time on Sunday and his message to an inexperienced team will be to play with fire and brimstone and approach the game as if it were a full Test match. Seven players, including the likes of Billy Vunipola, Kyle Eastmond and Jonny May, will start their first senior England match at the 14,000-capacity Charrua Stadium.

With a two-Test series against Argentina to follow, Wood will urge his young side to lay down a selection marker. "It is about taking the opportunity, it is a huge opportunity for a lot of the guys and they are there on merit," Wood said. "Their only responsibility is to bring that form into the England shirt. And I will remind them we are not here on holiday."

He added: "This could be perceived as an easier game. There is already talk of a big score and that is very dangerous territory for us to get into.

"We have a job to do, we have to make sure we are well prepared come the Test and we are under no illusion how tough this tour will be. We are here and we mean business.

"That will be the gist of my pre-match talk. It is all well talking about detail and all the technical things but you have to bring the intensity and the fire with it because I can guarantee that is exactly what they will bring."

The CONSUR XV is comprised of players from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil.

Among their coaching team is Federico Todeschini, who was fly-half when the Pumas drew with the Lions in 2005 and beat England at Twickenham in 2006.

"It is a bit of an unknown quantity in terms of the team we are playing," Wood said. "We don't know a huge amount about them as individuals but we are expecting a very physical and passionate display and we will have to adapt as we go.

"We have a young group of lads I am really excited to get out on the field with. We have been working on our attacking shape and I am anxious to get on with it. We have been working on gelling as a team, we feel pretty well prepared and we are ready to play now."


From Belfast Telegraph