England in SA
Barritt to start against Boks
Durban - Prop Joe Marler and flank Tom
Johnson will make their England debuts at Kings Park here Saturday in
the first of three Tests against South Africa.
Alex Corbisiero at loosehead 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.
Youngs takes over from Lee Dickson at scrum-half, as he did at
Twickenham, and Ben Foden moves from fullback to left wing in place of
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.
was formally appointed coach after Six Nations victories over Scotland,
Italy, France and Ireland, and he said Marler and Johnson deserved
"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.
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
"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
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.
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
15 Mike Brown, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Ben Foden, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler
Substitutes: 16 Lee Mears, 17 Paul Doran Jones, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 Lee Dickson, 21 Toby Flood, 22 Jonathan Joseph
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Ruan Pienaar, 21 Pat Lambie, 22 Wynand Olivier