BEN Foden will make his first start for England against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Saturday.
The former Chester Rugby Club scrum-half, from Cholmondeley, appeared in the Six Nations as a replacement against Italy.
But Martin Johnson has given the one-time Bishop Heber pupil the opportunity to impress from the off – although he has selected the utility player on the right wing rather than in his preferred position.
There the 23-year-old will face the legendary Barbarians representative team, which features former England captain Martin Corry and fellow World Cup winners Josh Lewsey and Mike Catt plus big names like South African BJ Botha and All Black Doug Howlett.
The news comes a week after Foden won the Challenge Cup with Northampton Saints, a team he has become central to since joining them from Sale Sharks just a year ago.
Saturday’s game will be England’s final appearance of the 2008/09 season at Twickenham before they prepare for their two-Test series against Argentina at Old Trafford on June 6 and in Salta, Argentina, on June 13.
Tickets for England v Barbarians are available from Ticketmaster on 0844 8472492 or at www.ticketmaster.co.uk at £25 for adults and £10 for under 16s.
Other games on the day include the Bill Beaumont Cup final between Gloucester and Lancashire and Cheshire’s County Championship Shield final against Hertfordshire.
Cheshire back at Twickenham – see page 74.