Eddie Jones’ selection for England vs South Africa at Twickenham: Hooker Jamie Blamire in to start with Jamie George out; Marcus Smith again at 10; Manu Tuilagi moves from wing to centre, Joe Marchant starts on the wing; Bevan Rodd starts loosehead, Courtney Lawes named captain
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 18/11/21 2:04pm
Jamie Blamire and Joe Marchant have come in to start for England vs South Africa on Saturday, while Courtney Lawes will captain the side.
Head coach Eddie Jones makes two changes in total to his starting XV from last week’s 32-15 win over Australia at Twickenham, with Newcastle Falcons hooker Blamire coming in for the injured Jamie George (knee) and Harlequins’ Joe Marchant starting on the wing.
With Marchant starting out wide, Manu Tuilagi makes the positional switch from wing to centre as Owen Farrell is ruled out due to an ankle injury.
Joe Marler returns to the bench, having served his isolation period for Covid-19, meaning 21-year-old Bevan Rodd starts at loosehead prop vs an imposing Springbok front-row.
Among the replacements, a final change to the squad sees uncapped Australian-born hooker Nic Dolly named, while Jones persists with a 6/2 split of forwards to backs as lock Charlie Ewels and back-rows Sam Simmonds and Alex Dombrandt remain.
The rest of the starting team is unchanged, with Leicester full-back Freddie Steward combining with Marchant and Jonny May in the back-three, and Henry Slade partnering Tuilagi in midfield.
Scrum-half Ben Youngs will earn his 112th Test cap as he starts alongside fly-half Marcus Smith, while Kyle Sinckler forms the front row at tighthead with Rodd and Blamire.
Maro Itoje and Jonny Hill start again in the second row, with skipper Lawes at blindside flanker, Sam Underhill at openside and Tom Curry once again at No 8.
“This is our biggest game of the season and the final game of the autumn campaign and we want to finish with a bang,” head coach Jones said on Thursday.
“We’ve been really pleased with the preparation this week and how the team has continued to develop over the past month.
“Now we want to put on our best performance this autumn in front of a capacity 82,000 crowd at Twickenham.”
England: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Joe Marchant, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Jonny May, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Bevan Rodd, 2 Jamie Blamire, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Jonny Hill, 6 Courtney Lawes (c), 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Tom Curry.
Replacements: 16 Nic Dolly, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Sam Simmonds, 21 Alex Dombrandt, 22 Raffi Quirke, 23 Max Malins.