Lancaster rings changes for South Africa test

November 22, 2012
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Lock Joe Launchbury has been given his first England start as part of six changes for Saturday's autumn international against South Africa.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster has made four changes to his pack for the clash with the Springboks, bringing in 21-year-old Launchbury in place of Tom Palmer, who drops out of the squad.

Lancaster has also brought in Alex Corbisiero, Tom Wood and Ben Morgan, with Joe Marler, Tom Johnson and Thomas Waldrom all making way after last week's defeat to Australia.

Wood will be making his first start for England since the World Cup and Lancaster believes he has the "warrior spirit" needed to conquer South Africa's powerful pack.

Also back in the team is Ben Youngs, who starts at scrum-half as Danny Care drops to the bench.

Mike Brown is also included in the starting XV on the left wing as Charles Sharples drops out of the matchday squad, despite impressing in his two games to date.

Lancaster has also made three changes to his bench, with James Haskell, Mouritz Botha and Jonathan Joseph named amongst the replacements.

The England coach says he has made sweeping changes after a disappointing performance against the Wallabies and to combat the physicality of South Africa.

The two teams know each other well following England's tour of South Africa in the summer and Lancaster feels he has learnt enough from those meetings to select the team he feels has the best chance of beating the 2003 World Cup winners.

"We have picked a team that will give us the best chance of beating South Africa," Lancaster said.

"There were some tight calls, which is what you want as coaches, but the players we have brought in to start have been training well, will bring a real motivation to make the most of their opportunity and will suit the challenge we face against a tough and physical South African team."


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