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Four face battle to prove fitness ahead of series finale for England

England could be forced to make significant changes to their backline for their final Test against New Zealand after four players suffered injuries.

Half-backs Owen Farrell and Danny Care and centre pairing Billy Twelvetrees and Luther Burrell each picked up knocks during Saturday's decisive 28-27 defeat in Dunedin.

Farrell (knee), Care (shoulder), Twelvetrees (ankle) and Burrell (ankle) have until Tuesday, when the team is decided, to prove their readiness to face the All Blacks. Even in the unlikely event that the quartet are all declared fit, England face a potential overhaul behind the scrum as Care, Twelvetrees and Burrell are fighting for their places.

Stuart Lancaster, the England head coach, is also unlikely to persevere with the experiment of playing Manu Tuilagi on the wing, although he refrained from criticising the young player for his performance in Dunedin.

"Manu is certainly a very good option for us at 13 and I don't think he let anyone down at all on the wing," he said. "Manu playing on the right wing was certainly not the reason why the All Blacks increased their intensity and pressure."

There was also a sense of optimism from Chris Robshaw, with the England captain seeking to rally his team-mates for one final assault on New Zealand by demanding they salvage some pride from their series defeat. "We've come down to win a series and we haven't done that," he said. "We've still got one more chance and come close on the last two occasions.

"We'll throw everything at this game. It's a big finale and hopefully we can pull one back. I don't think it'll be hard to lift the team."

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