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England ring backline changes for must-win Test

Date

David Legge

Back at No.10 ... Toby Flood.

Back at No.10 ... Toby Flood. Photo: Getty Images

JOHANNESBURG: England have made three personnel changes and two positional for a must-win second Test against South Africa at Ellis Park here on Saturday.

Jonathan Joseph is called up at outside centre, David Strettle on the left wing and Toby Flood at fly-half by coach Stuart Lancaster as he seeks to square a three-match series after a 22-15 loss in Durban last weekend.

Ben Foden moves from the left wing to his more accustomed role of full-back while Samoa-born giant Manu Tuilagi switches from outside centre to inside centre.

Only right wing Chris Ashton, who has gone seven Tests without a try, and scrum-half Ben Youngs among the backs keep the positions they occupied when the first Test kicked off at Kings Park.

A couple of the personnel changes were enforced as full-back Mike Brown flew home this week after injuring his thumb in Durban while inside centre Brad Barritt can only resume playing next week after a first-Test eye injury.

Young fly-half Owen Farrell drops to the replacments bench after several indifferent performances for the Six Nations runners-up while Flood starts for the first time since a 2011 World Cup quarter-finals loss to France.

There are no changes to the pack and on the bench prop Alex Corbisiero comes in for Paul Doran Jones and Farrell and full-back Alex Goode fill the places vacated by Joseph and Flood.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster, who succeeded Martin Johnson this year after the World Cup flop, said he was thrilled to give 21-year-old London Irish centre Joseph a chance.

"I am delighted for JJ. He has trained very well and showed against the Barbarians and in his short time on the field in the first Test that he is ready to make the step up to international rugby.

"To have two 21-year-old centres is exciting and we are looking forward to seeing this combination in action," said the 42-year-old with a record of four victories and two losses at Test level.

"Owen has had a fantastic season and I am sure he will make a significant impact from the bench. However, Toby has waited patiently for his opportunity and the time is right to allow him the demonstrate his experience and skills.

"It is a shame for Mike Brown, who worked hard to get that Test start, but Ben Foden naturally reverts to full-back and we return to the wing partnership of David Strettle and Chris Ashton that served us well in the Six Nations."

South Africa, who were playing for the first time under new coach Heyneke Meyer last weekend, have won eight consecutive Tests against England starting with a 25-14 triumph at Twickenham six years ago.

England (15-1): Ben Foden; Chris Ashton, Jonathan Joseph, Manu Tuilagi, David Strettle; Toby Flood, Ben Youngs; Ben Morgan, Chris Robshaw (capt), Tom Johnson; Geoff Parling Mouritz Botha; Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley, Joe Marler. Replacements: Lee Mears, Alex Corbisiero, Tom Palmer, Phil Dowson, Lee Dickson, Owen Farrell, Alex Goode

AFP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
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Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
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Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
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Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
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