England team revealed for South Africa in first autumn international

Owen Farrell switches to fly-half for England’s opening autumn clash against South Africa.

One of two co-captains, along with hooker Dylan Hartley, Farrell has won all but two of his caps under Eddie Jones at inside-centre.

But following the decision to drop No.10 incumbent Danny Cipriani from the squad, Farrell gets to play in his preferred position.

England revert to the 10-12 combination which started against Ireland in March, with a fit-again Ben Te’o restored to midfield despite less half an hour of rugby since May.

Farrell and Te’o – who partners Henry Slade in midfield – also paired up for the British and Irish Lions in the first Test of the drawn 2017 series.

Of the two headliners back in the squad this season, Manu Tuilagi is named on the bench for Saturday’s Twickenham showdown and there is no place for Chris Ashton.

Up front the absent Vunipola brothers, Mako and Billy, are replaced by Exeter loosehead prop Alec Hepburn and Newcastle No.8 Mark Wilson respectively.

Jones has opted for a back row boasting just 10 caps, with Brad Shields and Tom Curry either side of Wilson.

The Australian said: “Against South Africa you have got the physical battle up front and then you have to be tactically smart in how you attack against them.

“We need to find ways to gain momentum, then once we find momentum, convert that to points.

“We’ve become very well organised in our set piece and have done a lot of good work in Portugal over the last week. We have put in a new defence system and our attack looks more organised than it was on the South Africa tour.”

The Springboks name their starting line-up at lunchtime today.

England team

15 Elliot Daly (Wasps, 21 caps)

14 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 26 caps)

13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 13 caps)

12 Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors, 13 caps)

11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 37 caps)

10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 61 caps) co-captain

9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 77 caps)

1 Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs, 2 caps)

2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 93 caps) co-captain

3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 13 caps)

4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 22 caps)

5 George Kruis (Saracens, 25 caps)

6 Brad Shields (Wasps, 2 caps)

7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 4 caps)

8 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 4 caps)


16 Jamie George (Saracens, 28 caps)

17 Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped)

18 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 11 caps)

19 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 6 caps)

20 Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby, uncapped)

21 Danny Care (Harlequins, 81 caps)

22 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 47 caps)

23 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 26 caps)

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