England ring the changes for final Boks clash
June 21, 2012
Alex Goode will make his first Test start against the Springboks in Port Elizabeth on Saturday © Getty Images
England have made six changes for their third Test clash with South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Saturday with fullback Alex Goode and No.8 Thomas Waldrom set for their first starts.
Both players came off the bench during England's 36-27 second Test defeat in Johannesburg last weekend but will start at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium with Goode replacing Ben Foden, who switches to the left wing in the place of David Strettle, and Waldrom stepping up for Ben Morgan.
Elsewhere, scrum-half Danny Care returns to the Test line-up for the first time since England's World Cup warm-up clash against Wales last year following a tour-ending shoulder injury to Ben Youngs. Loose-head Alex Corbisiero and lock James Palmer are also handed their first starts of the tour at the expense of Joe Marler and Mouritz Botha who drop to the bench.
In the other change, James Haskell replaces the injured Chris Robshaw at openside for what will be his first Test outing since the World Cup. Brad Barritt has recovered from eye surgery and is among the replacements while hooker Dylan Hartley will skipper the side in Robshaw's absence.
Reflecting on his decision to promote Goode and recall Care after a troubled few months, head coach Stuart Lancaster said: "I am really pleased for Alex. He has worked hard in training and has been pushing Mike Brown and Ben Foden close so we are looking forward to him bringing his footballing skills to this Test.
"Danny Care likewise has bided his time in a very competitive position, knuckled down and deserves his chance, as has James Haskell, who has played this season for the Highlanders at No 7. We felt that the pack got some momentum in the second half last week so we have gone for Alex and Tom but I am sure Joe Marler and Mo Botha can make an impact from the bench.
England warmed up for their final tour outing with a 57-31 victory over the SA Barbarians (North) two days ago and Lancaster hopes his first-choice players can match that result. "The guys did the shirt proud in Potchefstroom on Tuesday and I have no doubt that the 22 involved on Saturday will rise to this final challenge as we look to end this almost 12-month season on a high."
England: Alex Goode (Saracens); Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints), Jonathan Joseph (London Irish), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints); Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Danny Care (Harlequins); Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Dylan Hartley (capt, Northampton Saints), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Palmer (Stade Francais), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), James Haskell (Otago Highlanders), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers)
Replacements: Lee Mears (Bath Rugby), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Mouritz Botha (Saracens), Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Brad Barritt (Saracens)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape