Rokoduguni returns for England against Fiji

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 10:50

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: England have recalled Fiji-born wing Semesa Rokoduguni to play against the Pacific islanders at Twickenham on Saturday.

The Bath flyer, a former British Army soldier, will win just his second cap after making his debut against New Zealand back in 2014.

Rokoduguni replaced Marland Yarde in the team announced by coach Eddie Jones on Friday after his fellow wing was dropped following England's 37-21 win over South Africa last weekend.

All three of the injury doubts that led England to delay Thursday's scheduled team announcement were included in the matchday 23 on Friday.

Star back row forward Billy Vunipola recovered from "upper body soreness" to remain at No.8.

The only change to the pack that started against the Springboks saw Teimana Harrison replace Tom Wood at openside flank.

Nathan Hughes, like Rokoduguni born in Fiji, will again provide back-row bench cover after winning his first cap as a replacement against the Springboks.  

In the backs, Elliot Daly recovered from an "upper body injury" to move from the centres to the left wing.

Daly's positional switch paved the way for Jonathan Joseph to return at centre.

Meanwhile Alex Goode was chosen ahead of Mike Brown at fullback.

"We've picked a side to beat Fiji," said England coach Eddie Jones.

"Every Test match is an opportunity for us to keep improving and to increase the depth of the squad.  We've made a few changes from last week and those players have a great chance to put their best foot forward and make the team better.

"England at Twickenham is the game Fiji will have targeted on their tour. They are one of the iconic rugby nations of the world and we respect them enormously. They bring flair and an unbridled enthusiasm to move the ball at pace, with running skills - if the game becomes unstructured they can be a very dangerous team. They'll come to Twickenham with no fear and hungry to cause an upset.

"While we were satisfied with last week's result against South Africa, there was plenty to improve on. We want a much more complete performance on Saturday - we want to be in total control of the game and tidy-up the things we didn't do well enough last weekend."

England: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Semesa Rokodoguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Teimana Harrison, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Danny Care, 22 Ben Te'o, 23 Henry Slade.

Date: Saturday, November 19
Venue: Twickenham, London
Kick-off: 14.30 (14.30 GMT; 03.30, Sunday, November 20, Fiji time)
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Lloyd Linton (Scotland)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)