Eastmond and Tomkins start for England

Kyle Eastmond will partner Sam Tomkins at half-back for England in Saturday’s crunch Four Nations clash with New Zealand.

Eastmond helped inspire a mini-fightback in the second half of last weekend’s 26-16 defeat to Australia, while the substitution of stand-off Danny McGuire at the DW Stadium was greeted by loud cheers around the ground.

The St Helens starlet will start at scrum half, with Super League young player of the year Sam Tomkins moving to stand-off.

Three-quarter pairing Tom Briscoe and Lee Smith, tormented by the Aussies in the first half last weekend, have been replaced by Hull KR winger Peter Fox and Warrington centre Chris Bridge.

Jon Wilkin takes Eastmond’s place on the bench, with McGuire missing out altogether, while Huddersfield prop Eorl Crabtree retains his place in the 17 after an impressive showing last weekend.

Team: S Briscoe, Fox, Bridge, Shenton, Hall; Tomkins, Eastmond; Morley, Roby, Graham; Peacock (capt), Ellis, Sinfield.
Replacements: Burgess, Crabtree, Westwood, Wilkin.

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