England

Launchbury unleashed on Boks

Thu, 22 Nov 2012 11:21
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We picked a team that will give us the best chance of beating SA
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Joe Launchbury will start his first Test for England in Saturday's third round of year-end internationals against South Africa at Twickenham Stadium.

The 21-year-old Wasps lock, Launchbury, replaced club-mate Tom Palmer in a starting side that shows six changes from the one beaten 20-14 by Australia at Twickenham last weekend.

No.8 Ben Morgan, blindside flank Tom Wood and loosehead prop Alex Corbisiero all make their first starts of the year-end series, with Wood in the XV for the first time since last year's World Cup following a toe injury.

In the backs, Mike Brown, the Harlequins fullback, starts on the left wing with England using two fullbacks - Alex Goode is at No 15 - in a bid to counter the Springboks' expected aerial threat.

Meanwhile Ben Youngs is preferred to Danny Care at scrumhalf.

England will be looking for their first win over a major Southern Hemisphere nation under Lancaster having lost twice and drawn once in a three-Test series away to South Africa in June before last week's Wallaby reverse.

Lancaster's men conclude their year-end campaign against world champions New Zealand at Twickenham on December 1.

"We have picked a team that will give us the best chance of beating South Africa," Lancaster said.

"There were some tight calls, which is what you want as coaches, but the players we have brought into start have been training well, will bring a real motivation to make the most of their opportunity and will suit the challenge we face against a tough and physical South African team."

England: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Mike Brown, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 David Wilson, 18 Mako Vunipola, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 James Haskell, 21 Danny Care, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Jonathan Joseph.

Date: Saturday, November 24
Venue: Twickenham, London
Kick-off: 14.30 (14.30 GMT, 16.30 SA time)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
TMO: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

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