Austin Healey: Bok pack could destroy England

2018-11-02 14:21
Austin Healey
Austin Healey (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former England utility back Austin Healey says England must avoid being caught up in a physical arm-wrestle with the Springboks at Twickenham on Saturday.

England, with the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan now under a year away, go into Saturday's match with an inexperienced-looking side.

Injuries, allied to a suspension for Nathan Hughes and the international retirement of Joe Marler, have deprived them of several forwards with both Mako and Billy Vunipola, Chris Robshaw, Sam Simmonds and Joe Launchbury among those ruled out.

Via a column for The Telegraph, Healey said England’s only chance will be to try and run the Springboks ragged.

“Eddie Jones (England coach) has potentially left his side severely underpowered against the most powerful team in world rugby; alternatively, he might be on the cusp of solving the two biggest problems that have plagued English rugby in the past 15 years.

“Clearly, the risk is that the South African pack destroys England up front. The pack looks lightweight in comparison to the Springboks, particularly in the back row,” Healey wrote.

Jones picked a loose trio containing just 10 caps, but Healey, who played 51 Tests for England between 1997 and 2003, added: “Yet I think the team selection is a clear attempt to make this a super high-tempo contest and to run the Boks off their feet. It will be like watching a cheetah fight a lion. If the cheetah can tire the lion out with its speed then it has a chance, but if the lion gets the cheetah in its jaws, then it is game over.”

Saturday's Test is scheduled for 17:00 (SA time).



15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (co-captain), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Mark Wilson, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Brad Shields, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Dylan Hartley (co-captain), 1 Alec Hepburn 

Substitutes: 16 Jamie George, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Zach Mercer, 21 Danny Care, 22 George Ford, 23 Chris Ashton

South Africa

Read more on:    england  |  springboks  |  rugby


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