Wasps pair set to start for England
WASPS forwards Joe Launchbury and Brad Shields have both been handed starting roles against South Africa for Saturday’s second Test in Bloemfontein.
Lock Launchbury missed the first Test at Ellis Park with a calf strain, but returns to partner Maro Itoje in the second row while Shields earns his first start after making his England debut from the bench in last weekend’s 42-39 defeat.
Danny Cipriani, who is set to join Gloucester from Wasps, takes a place on the bench but his former Wasps team mate Dan Robson misses out for a second week running.
Elliot Daly, who scored a try and a long-range penalty in the first Test is given a second chance at full back despite some uncharacteristic errors, one of which resulted directly in a Springboks try. Nathan Hughes is set to earn his 16th England cap from the bench as cover for Billy Vunipola.
Head coach Eddie Jones said: “We have come here to win the series against South Africa and the squad is ready to go out and beat them this weekend. We have had a very good preparation this week and the intensity and executions in those sessions are going to put us in a good position for Saturday.
“The way the team have come together has been superb. Owen Farrell, with a number of the senior players, has really moulded the squad together. They are working hard to improve their game to make sure we win.” On the change in the back row, Jones added: “Based on South Africa’s likely selection of an extra lineout jumper we have decided to start with Brad Shields, which improves our lineout. It is tough on Chris Robshaw as he has been an outstanding player for us but I know he will bounce back. “Danny Cipriani will come on to the bench, as we are looking for something a little bit different to finish the game, which he can bring. He’s been training well and doing everything that has been asked of him.” On facing South Africa in Bloemfontein, Jones added: “When you have a win like South Africa did on Saturday you come into the game with a bit of confidence so we have to make sure we dent the Springboks’ confidence Danny Cipriani will come on to the bench, as we are looking for something a little bit different to finish the game. early. Bloemfontein is a very fast ground at altitude. It has an average of 60 points per Test match so we are anticipating an ebb-and-flow type game like we had in Johannesburg.”
England lost the first match of the three-Test series against South Africa in Johannesburg 42-39 on Saturday. Their final match is in Cape Town (June 23). All matches kick off at 4.05pm BST).
Brad Shields made his England debut from the bench last Saturday