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Fin Baxter handed first England start in New Zealand rematch

The 22-year-old prop replaces his fellow Harlequins player Joe Marler after winning first cap as a replacement in the first Test.

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Fin Baxter will make his first start for England in the second Test against New Zealand on Saturday.

The 22-year-old Harlequins prop, who won his first cap off the bench in the 16-15 first Test defeat in Dunedin, again replaces his clubmate Joe Marler who has been ruled out with a foot injury.

Bevan Rodd comes onto the bench in the only other change to the squad for Auckland.

By contrast, fellow prop Dan Cole will win his 115th cap from the bench at Eden Park to become England’s second most-capped men’s player behind Ben Youngs (127).

England coach Steve Borthwick paid tribute to Cole, who will move ahead of Jason Leonard.

“Dan has shown nothing but dedication and determination throughout his career, and reaching this milestone is a remarkable feat,” he said.

“He is a superb rugby player, a wonderful role model and we all look forward to sharing a memorable day with him on Saturday.

“Eden Park is a stadium packed with history and with memories of great rugby encounters.

“New Zealand has a formidable record at this venue, but with that comes the pressure of expectation. It will be interesting to see how New Zealand manages that expectation in front of a full house.”

Scrum-half Finlay Christie is the only new face in the New Zealand starting line-up, replacing the injured TJ Perenara, with the uncapped Cortez Ratima taking his place on the bench.

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