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Marler, Johnson make England debuts against Boks

Date
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

AFP

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
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 22:00KPS
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
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 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 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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