CLIVE WOODWARD is determined to make England's socalled World Cup celebration match a success - despite the absence of many star names.
A sold-out Twickenham will see an England XV containing just five of the World Cup final's starting line-up take on the New Zealand Barbarians on Saturday.
But head coach Woodward, whose selection options have been restricted by having a maximum of three players per Zurich Premiership club available, remains upbeat.
World Cup stars such as Jonny Wilkinson, Martin Johnson and Lawrence Dallaglio will be at Twickenham - but only to parade the Webb Ellis Trophy with the entire England squad.
Wilkinson, whose extra time drop-goal won the Cup, is out of action with a shoulder injury, but Woodward confirmed he would not have played anyway.
Given that many supporters wanted to see their heroes in action, there could be a collective feeling of being let down. England will field 12 of the World Cup squad, plus exciting talents such as Gloucester wing James Simpson-Daniel, left centre Ollie Smith and uncapped 21-year-old Bath prop Matt Stevens.
Woodward admitted: "I wasn't over-happy with some of the restrictions. But it is a huge opportunity for all of these players.
"I couldn't pick a full-strength side - three players per club wasn't easy - but I think the starting XV is fantastic. It's arguably as strong as the team that won the World Cup."
The Zurich World Champions Challenge will take place on a Premiership weekend, with the likes of Johnson travelling straight to Twickenham following Leicester's appointment with Northampton on Saturday.
But Woodward is determined that his flourishing relationship with directors of rugby across England will not be affected.
"I sympathise with them, but this game was agreed by the clubs. We won't fall out over this," Woodward added. "We arrived at the World Cup as the best-prepared team, and you cannot do that unless you are working in partnership with the clubs. The keyword is partnership.
"It would have been very easy to run out with all the big names, but we would have learnt nothing from it.
"I believe that we could beat Australia very, very comfortably with this team, and I would have no problems starting with it in the Six Nations Championship."
CLIVE Woodward has criticised the BBC for allowing former Australia Test star David Campese to present England with their Team of the Year award at the Sports Personality of the Year Show.
Woodward dubbed it "a crass decision." Campese is a long-time critic of the England team. A BBC spokesman said: "There was no offence intended, however, if it makes everyone feel better, Peter Salmon, BBC's director of sport, has offered to walk round Twickenham wearing a sandwich board apologising."