Trio to face Springboks

Exeter Chiefs trio Henry Slade, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Harry Williams have all been named in the England squad to face South Africa on Saturday. Picture: Frozen in Motion

By Mark Stevens

Exeter Chiefs trio Henry Slade, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Harry Williams have all been named in Eddie Jones' side for Saturday's clash with South Africa in Bloemfontein (4:05pm).

Slade starts the contest in an unchanged back division, while Cowan-Dickie and Williams are again named among the replacements.

Elsewhere, there are two changes to the starting XV that played on Saturday with Brad Shields (Hurricanes/Wasps) making his first England start at blindside flanker and Joe Launchbury (Wasps) coming in for Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), having recovered from his calf injury.

Danny Cipriani (Wasps) is named as a finisher replacing Piers Francis (Northampton Saints) on the bench. Cipriani’s last cap for England came against France ahead of the Rugby World Cup in 2015. Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) is also included as a finisher having last played for England on the Argentina tour last season.

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.”

Commenting 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 onto 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 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 (23 June). All matches kick off at 1705 local time (1605 BST).

15 Elliot Daly (Wasps, 19 caps)

14 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 35 caps)

13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 11 caps)

12 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 59 caps, capt)

11 Mike Brown (Harlequins, 70 caps)

10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 46 caps)

9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 75 caps)

1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 50 caps)

2 Jamie George (Saracens, 26 caps)

3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 11 caps)

4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 52 caps)

5 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 20 caps)

6 Brad Shields (Hurricanes/ Wasps, 1 cap)

7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 2 cap)

8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 35 caps)

16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 6 caps)

17 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 57 caps)

18 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 9 caps)

19 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 2 caps)

20 Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 15 caps)

21 Ben Spencer (Saracens, 1 cap)

22 Danny Cipriani (Wasps, 14 caps)

23 Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks, 3 caps)

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