Summer Tour 2018: England Team to Play South Africa 2nd Test

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones

England head coach Eddie Jones has named his team to play South Africa in the second Test in Bloemfontein on Saturday 16 June (kick off 1605 BST, live on Sky Sports Action & Main Event).

There are two changes to the starting XV that played on Saturday with Brad Shields (Hurricanes/Wasps) making his first England start at blindside flanker and Joe Launchbury (Wasps) coming in for Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), having recovered from his calf injury.

Danny Cipriani (Wasps) is named as a finisher replacing Piers Francis (Northampton Saints) on the bench. Cipriani’s last cap for England came against France ahead of the Rugby World Cup in 2015. Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) is also included as a finisher having last played for England on the Argentina tour last season.

Eddie Jones said: “We have come here to win the series against South Africa and the squad is ready to go out and beat them this weekend. We have had a very good preparation this week and the intensity and executions in those sessions are going to put us in a good position for Saturday.

“The way the team have come together has been superb. Owen Farrell, with a number of the senior players, has really moulded the squad together. They are working hard to improve their game to make sure we win.”

Commenting on the change in the back row, Jones added: “Based on South Africa’s likely selection of an extra lineout jumper we have decided to start with Brad Shields, which improves our lineout. It is tough on Chris Robshaw as he has been an outstanding player for us but I know he will bounce back.

“Danny Cipriani will come onto the bench, as we are looking for something a little bit different to finish the game, which he can bring. He’s been training well and doing everything that has been asked of him.”

On facing South Africa in Bloemfontein, Jones added: “When you have a win like South Africa did on Saturday you come into the game with a bit of confidence so we have to make sure we dent the Springboks’ confidence early. Bloemfontein is a very fast ground at altitude. It has an average of 60 points per Test match so we are anticipating an ebb-and-flow type game like we had in Johannesburg.”

England lost the first match of the three-Test series against South Africa in Johannesburg 42-39 on Saturday. Their final match is in Cape Town (23 June). All matches kick off at 1705 local time (1605 BST).

15 Elliot Daly (Wasps, 19 caps)
14 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 35 caps)
13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 11 caps)
12 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 59 caps)
11 Mike Brown (Harlequins, 70 caps)
10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 46 caps)
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 75 caps)

1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 50 caps)
2 Jamie George (Saracens, 26 caps)
3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 11 caps)
4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 52 caps)
5 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 20 caps)
6 Brad Shields (Hurricanes/ Wasps, 1 cap)
7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 2 cap)
8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 35 caps)

16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 6 caps)
17 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 57 caps)
18 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 9 caps)
19 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 2 caps)
20 Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 15 caps)
21 Ben Spencer (Saracens, 1 cap)
22 Danny Cipriani (Wasps, 14 caps)
23 Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks, 3 caps)

55 thoughts on “Summer Tour 2018: England Team to Play South Africa 2nd Test

  1. Good selections for the most part. Robshaw had to go after 2 poor games, despite his proven consistency in the past. Sheilds adds more around the field and in the lineout. Great to see DC and Wilson on the bench.

    Only debatable calls are switching Brown and Daly, Shields covering lock and Williams not starting. However, I’m pleased he’s giving Sinkler and Daly another shot. We’re never going to know if Daly can play 15 and Sinkler can start unless they get a decent run of games.

    1. You think that Shields adds more to the lineout than Robshaw?

      I don’t know as I don’t watch much Super Rugby, but he must be bloody good if so, as Robshaw is a good lineout operator.

      That was my concern about dropping Robshaw, as we potentially lose a lineout option. Hopefully not.

      1. Is Robshaw that strong in the lineout?

        Personally I’ve always seen it as an argument against him – he’s good, but there are better back row jumpers in the game – O’Mahony stands out, Read, Shingler maybe, du Toit for the Boks this weekend, and back in the day the likes of Wood. I’d say Jamie Gibson’s also better. Not sure about Wilson.

        Mostly taller and rangier than Robbo which helps. I’m against Shields’ inclusion but he fits that bill.

        1. Yes, Robshaw is a decent lineout option.

          I do not state that because of this he should play, nor that he is the best, but the balance of the forwards in this team needs a third option.

          Wood was better – yes, Gibson is very good indeed, but neither of these are options in this team, and certainly neither are the other names mentioned.

          My point was really referring to this team selection, not a potential world XV 🙂

          1. I’d actually say the line out is a weaker area for Robshaw. I can’t recall if he was even used last week?

            Certainly back in the Martin Johnson days, the sole reason that Robshaw was never considered an option was down to him not being considered a serious line out option from 6.

            1. Weaker than what? Than Shields? That may be the case, I don’t know much about Shields.

              Yes, he was used last week, as he always is when he plays. Very often as a front jumper.

              Perhaps Johnson’s view of his lineout work incentivised him to become better.

              To be very clear, I am not saying he is the nest lineout forward since Victor Matfield, all I am saying is that when he plays he is an integral part of the lineout operation. Therefore, when he doesn’t play, England need to find an alternative (in addition to the two starting locks).

              1. I meant weaker in comparison to his other skills. When I think Robshaw, it’s his work rate, tackle count, rucks hit, linking attack with ball in hand. Not necessarily line out work.

                Shields is in the top 10 lineout takes in Super Rugby this year. When comparing the two in this area there is just no comparison at all.

                1. For sure there’s no comparison. Robshaw has proven he can do it at the very highest level.
                  Shields gets the ball thrown to him in Super Rugby
                  No comparison at all.

                2. Surely Jacob, you are clarifying the very exact comparison that I was questioning.

                  Robshaw dropping out leaves a “need” for another jumper.

                  Shields coming in, fills that “need”.

                  You may be right, that Shields is the better lineout operator (although as Pablito notes, that remains to be proved at this level).

  2. If i may comment without causing certain individuals to get an attack of the vapours: I was hoping Williams would get the starting berth. I don’t think Sinckler has the heft, nous or experience. Thank you.

    1. I wouldn’t be disappointed if Williams was starting but tend to agree with Robbo that it’s good to see Sinckler get another chance to prove one way or another where he is in the pecking order.

      1. Arguably, South Africa’s replacement front row strengthens their scrum, so Williams coming on at the same time is no bad thing.

  3. Same comments as last week really. Why Brown on the wing and why no lock cover, particularly with Launchbury back. Other than that it looks OK. Can understand why Daly is being given more game time at FB Now its over to the players and EJ’s game plan to turn it around.

    1. Lack of lock cover is baffling. Brown though may be because Daly still needs mentoring at FB, he is good under the high ball, solid defensively and he has a decent boot also, all of which are useful at altitude. If the last test is sea level I suspect we will see a change in personnel.

      1. During the 6N we were all complaining we had too many locks in the team, now we are all saying we don’t have enough in the squad!
        That thought made me chuckle.

        1. Hadn’t thought of it like that but, you’re right, it’s quite amusing.

          It seems to be Eddie’s obsession with just playing players out of position. We have two young locks who need experience at test level and yet neither of them get a bench spot? Instead we have Hughes on the bench who offers nothing that Billy doesn’t from the start? At least if you had Isiekwe or Hill on the bench with Simmonds (for example) you would be getting some more energy and different approach.

  4. Positive changes at 2nd and back row, with Launchberry hopefully bringing some leadership and direction.
    Not quite sure what dirt Marler and Sinkler have on Jones because they’re both still being picked. That or Genge has done something very bad and has been consigned to the naughty step. A baby rhino would be useful to unleash on SA.
    No cover at lock again; Isiekwe probably doesnt have the confidence and Hill isnt a viable option.
    No change in the backs but Cips will at least offer a genuine threat off the bench.

  5. The basis of winning rugby is to select the best player for each position.Brown is a better 15 than Daly.Daly is a better 13 than Slade.Its as simple as that.And no lock on the bench.Huge risk.

    1. While I agree with this sentiment, we can’t take this line and then complain about the lack of squad development and back up options.

      Eddie has taken a squad including a number of players with question marks over their ability to perform at international standard. To answer those questions, of necessity he must select players not considered the best in their position to allow them to prove otherwise.

  6. Good as a whole, until I looked at the lock option on the bench……..oh wait, there isn’t one!!!!! Why pick Wilson and Hughes when Simmonds can cover both positions and lets us have another lock on the bench?! I thinkWilson has played 8 before as well, but Hughes is an 8 pure and simple. Simmonds offers something different and would, I believe make more of a difference at 60 minutes into the game than Hughes.

  7. Largely comfortable with the starting XV and the bench on the understanding that Williams can replace Sinckler when necessary to bolster the scrum and I’m hoping that if the Brown/Daly 14/15 experiment doesn’t work as well as planned then Solomona is brought on for Slade and Brown and Daly revert to 15 and 13 respectively. I think this would be a good use of the “finishers” which gained such praise at the start of EJ’s reign.

    However, I’m not so comfortable with some of the other “finishers” selected. I know LCD had an injury niggle this week and his set piece accuracy is a vulnerability under pressure as we saw again at the weekend. Personally, I’d have liked to see Singleton given a bench spot following his strong performance against the BaBas not to mention his performance throughout the season. I’d also be more comfortable with Isiekwe / Hill on the bench instead of Wilson to provide cover for the second row. We have a balanced back row and surely we shouldn’t need two back row replacements. I’m hoping EJ isn’t going to switch Shields into the second row again. Let him play his best position!

    Finally I’d have given Robson a place on the bench. I’ve not been overly impressed by Spencer (similar to Wilson) by what I’ve seen of him and I think Robson is a more versatile option. He can be brought on in the later stages either to control and close out the game or to inject pace depending on what is needed.


      1. It kind of gives the impression that Hughes is on the bench covering just one player, purely due to Billy Vunipola’s fitness.

    1. Happy to be corrected, but I believe that Wilson has played Lock at Newcastle.

      From memory, quite regularly a couple of seasons ago. I think he is a good option as he can cover 6 and 7.

  8. I like the changes brought in – Robshaw does seem jaded at the moment and it makes sense to give Shields a run out given the furore surrounding his coming over. Launchbury is an automatic starter in my eyes nowadays so I’m glad he’s back to fitness.

    Why Piers Francis was ever considered a better bench option than Cipriani I will never know. I hope he comes on and has the kind of game that really forces EJ to consider him more seriously going forward.

    I also agree with the lock cover comments above, but it seems to be well covered so will leave it there!

  9. Swap Daly and Mr Angry, is Robson on this tour as i’d like him on the bench but at last a game changer on the bench in Cipriani.

    Say what you like about him but he has got that mercurial touch about him, as long as he’s played in position if we’re ina tight game in a loosing position put him on and let him play.

    Shame about Isiekwe being dropped I hope he hasn’t had his confidence flattened.

  10. Just to start a discussion on this, let’s say we lost this second test. Would you rather see the same squad for the third test or, would you like to see all the guys on the fringes get a game and bugger the consequences?
    My (largely) experimental 3rd test team:
    1. Genge, 2. Singleton, 3. Williams, 4. Hill, 5. Isiekwe, 6. Wilson, 7. Simmonds, 8. Vunipola, 9. Robson, 10. Cips, 11. May, 12. Farrell, 13. Daly, 14. Solomona, 15. Earle
    16. LCD, 17. Mako, 18. Sinckler, 19. Itoje, 20. Shields, 21. Spencer, 22. Slade, 23. Lozowski.

    1. I think (and im not certain) that Genges out for rest of tour… I’m sure read that somewhere.

      1. Hadn’t heard that but, if true it would be a real shame because Marler offered little other than experience off the bench.

    2. In answer to your question: Yes. Maybe not changing the entire team – keep the likes of Launchberry, Farrell, Vunipola 1 & 2 (as you have done) – but swap in the players that we just don’t know enough about. At least then they have the chance to prove themselves and we can stop wondering ‘what if?’.
      What would one extra loss mean in the grand scheme of things, if we were able to blood a number of young players.

        1. Absolutely Jake. One more loss would be nothing, just as a win when you’ve lost the first two means nothing. The whole purpose of a tour is to give guys on the fringes a chance to prove themselves. If we take them and they never get a chance what was the point?

          Why keep giving caps to guys like Robshaw and Brown (for instance) when we know exactly what they bring and, there are younger players hungry for a chance to prove themselves in those positions.

  11. Good side… happy to see some of the outsiders (slade, sinkler) given a bit of a run… you cant learn anything by not playing.
    I jumped with joy when read launchbury is back… we need his experience. I agree risky not carrying a lock replacement. Putting shields there is a waste, especially watching our scrum get pummeled last week on own put in. Before it was a lock as flanker then its a flanker as lock… use players where they play I think, even more so at this level.
    Glad to see cips on bench, hes a quality player and though its not recent he has plenty of experience. Id have started him with ford covering, rather than vice versa. Also poor robson, class number 9 would give better understanding paired with DC. He needs a chance and is more experienced than spencer, I feel its literally eddies obsession with saracens that gets him selected… not that hes a bad player its just robsons already paid his dues and is due a chance, we’ve all been saying it a while. Give the man a go. Saying all that if we can keep pushing past the twenty minutes and Gustard actually tries caring about his current job rather than his new job and stretches the line rather than trying to kill 10 and 12 of opposition, cos as soon as its past them we are wide open, especially with Browns lack of speed in comparison to other wingers. Good luck to Daly he has all attributes to be great full back, despite that howler last week we need to give him time.

    1. Ill add I want to see farrell in the face of the first england player to give stupid penalty at first opportunity… Captains job to control the team

  12. Why has nobody mentioned Lozowski?! Unless he’s injured it’s a harsh exclusion. Been on great form, Slade is infuriatingly inconsistent and would be a great axis with Farrell … if the tour is to trial new partnerships then that has to be one that should be given a run out before a potential dead runner ???

    1. I’d agree with that! Lozowski outplayed Slade in the premiership final and has an established familiarity with Farrell. When will he be given a starting spot let alone a bench spot?!?

      1. I think the 2 are quite different players. Slade has a larger skillset, whereas Lozowski is a more traditional centre, strong defence with good running ball in hand (not that he doesn’t have the distribution). They bring different things, and for that reason I don’t understand why Slade has been chosen ahead of AL.
        We are already playing 2 playmakers in Ford and Farrel, with a 3rd in Cipriani to come off the bench. There is no need to have Slade in the 13 jersey with 2 of these 3 operating at 10-12. Lozowski would bring something different, whilst suring up the defensive line and providing some much needed physicality in midfield. Slade’s defensive is actually pretty suspect.
        Also agree he is in much better form than Slade. Slade started the season well but has since faded. AL has done the opposite; his performances have gotten better and better, culminating in the final where he was one of the standout performers.

  13. I’d have said that Slade has more potential, more natural ability, than Lozowski – even if it’s proving hard for him to show it consistently.
    Perhaps EJ feels he can get that best out of him and that, if he can, it’ll have been worthwhile selecting him over Lozowski.
    At least, that’s my theory
    As for the team selection, if Slade is starting, I’d think I’d rather have Cipriani on the bench

  14. Just reading some of the comments about Slade, Lozowski and Cips and it made me wonder where Cipriani is expected to cover.
    He has played all his club rugby for the last couple of seasons at 10, but has played very well at 15 before that. With Ford and Farrell already starting I can only assume that Cips will be replacing Ford at some point? If so this either means Slade is expected to play the full 80 or there will be a serious re-shuffle of the back line?

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I just don’t like the idea of a potential midfield of Cips, Ford and Farrell?

    If Cips coming on coincides with Solomona coming on and Daly moving to 13 I would be very happy!! I think the combination of Cips, Farrell and Daly with Brown at 15 would be exciting to watch. Doubt if we’d be that lucky!!

    1. Yes. Although I didn’t see the England south africa game. The French did brilliantly to beat the Kiwis though. They have got one hell of a pack

      1. I would say that if you get the chance to watch the Eng v SA semi final then do watch it. One of the best games of rugby I’ve seen in a while. You should be able to watch it on ITV4 catch up.

        The French pack is quite impressive and the tackling across the whole squad is ferocious. If they start playing some of these youngsters in their senior squad we will have some catching up to do, as we are notoriously slow at rewarding good players who come through the age grades.

        1. While the backs look pretty good I am worried that SA managed to bully the u20’s upfront and we only managed to win by the skin of our teeth. If France do the same we could be in a lot of trouble in the final.
          Also doesn’t bode well for the senior side if the U20 are showing the same issue that they are as there is no one coming through the age grades to plug the gap

    2. Only the highlights so far. But quite a few of the matches look superb.

      The French pack is unbelievable. If they match their defensive effort against the baby blacks in the final I can’t see England winning.


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