Launchbury, Shields starting for England vs Springboks

England’s campaign to turn around its rugby series in South Africa was given a lift when lock Joe Launchbury overcame a calf injury ahead of the second test in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Launchbury missed last weekend’s 42-39 defeat in Johannesburg, but after training with the squad at their base in Durban on Wednesday he was named in Eddie Jones’ starting lineup for a match that England must win to keep the series alive.

The Wasps lock will partner Maro Itoje, as Jones reshuffled the England pack.

Flanker Brad Shields comes into the starting XV on the blindside, while Chris Robshaw and Nick Isiekwe drop out of the match 23 after disappointing performances at Ellis Park, where Isiekwe was replaced after just 36 minutes.

“Based on South Africa’s likely selection of an extra lineout jumper we have decided to start with Brad Shields, which improves our lineout,” Jones said. “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.”

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England: Elliot Daly, Jonny May, Henry Slade, Owen Farrell (captain), Mike Brown, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Billy Vunipola, Tom Curry, Brad Shields, Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Kyle Sinckler, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola. Reserves: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Joe Marler, Harry Williams, Mark Wilson, Nathan Hughes, Ben Spencer, Danny Cipriani, Denny Solomona.

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Source:: Nationalpost

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