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Marler, Johnson make England debuts against Boks

New cap ... Joe Marler.

New cap ... Joe Marler. Photo: Getty Images

DURBAN: Prop Joe Marler and flanker Tom Johnson will make their England debuts at Kings Park here Saturday in the first of three Tests against South Africa.

Marler replaces Alex Corbisiero at loose-head and Johnson comes in for injured Tom Croft as coach Stuart Lancaster made four personnel changes to the team that walloped Ireland 30-9 three months ago in the Six Nations.

Ben Youngs takes over from Lee Dickson at scrum-half, as he did at Twickenham, and Ben Foden moves from full-back to left wing in place of David Strettle.

Mike Brown, who came on for Foden in the Irish victory that sealed second place behind Wales in the championship, is now the first choice No 15 for the clash of top-four nations with the third-ranked Springboks just above England.

The Red Roses starting line-up includes two South Africa-born players -- inside centre Brad Barritt and lock Mouritz Botha -- while assistant coach Mike Catt is also back in the land of his birth.

Flank Chris Robshaw continues as captain as England strive to continue their redemption after a troubled 2011 Rugby World Cup on and off the field that culminated in a 19-12 quarter-finals loss to eventual runners-up France.

Lancaster was formally appointed coach after Six Nations victories over Scotland, Italy, France and Ireland, and he said Marler and Johnson deserved their opportunities.

"Joe Marler and Tom Johnson had great seasons at their clubs and have worked really hard to get this chance. Both are in great form and have really impressed in training.

"Mike Brown has been outstanding for Harlequins and by moving Ben Foden to the wing we retain his strike power and aerial skills," explained the 42-year-old coach.

"It is competitive in lots of positions, but particularly at scrum-half. We are really pleased with the form of Ben Youngs and he knows our systems well. I am sure Lee will make an impact if he gets a chance from the bench."

"We have made no secret of how tough this series will be, but it is an opportunity we do not fear and with the 22 we have selected, including an experienced bench, I am confident that we can perform."

The second Test will be staged 1800 metres above sea level at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on June 16 and the third a week later at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

England and South Africa drew 3-3 in their first meeting 106 years ago at Crystal Palace in London and the Springboks have won 19 and the Roses 12 of the subsequent Tests.

England (15-1): Mike Brown; Chris Ashton, Manu Tuilagi, Brad Barritt, Ben Foden; Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs; Ben Morgan, Chris Robshaw (capt), Tom Johnson; Geoff Parling, Mouritz Botha; Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley, Joe Marler. Replacements: Lee Mears, Paul Doran Jones, Tom Palmer, Phil Dowson, Lee Dickson, Toby Flood, Jonathan Joseph


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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00Leicester City Stadium
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
NZL 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs ARG 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 3 0 3 0 -139 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 3 0 3 0 -96 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 3 2 1 0 64 10
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 3 0 3 0 -59 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 3 3 0 0 84 14
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Italy 3 1 2 0 -24 5
Romania 3 1 2 0 -59 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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