Rugby-Marchant on the wing for England against South Africa
Joe Marchant was a surprise selection on the wing for England in their World Cup final re-run against South Africa on Saturday, with Manu Tuilagi returning to his familiar inside centre role and Marcus Smith at flyhalf. Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 6 caps) 13. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 45 caps) 11.
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Joe Marchant was a surprise selection on the wing for England in their World Cup final re-run against South Africa on Saturday, with Manu Tuilagi returning to his familiar inside centre role and Marcus Smith at flyhalf. Marchant, more usually a centre, will be making his second England start - his other came in a 2019 World Cup warm up against Italy - and his first appearance of the autumn series.
In the absence of the injured Owen Farrell, flanker Courtney Lawes will captain the side for a second time. Jamie Blamire's remarkable international journey continues as he starts as hooker, having scored six tries in his previous four games while struggling to get a game for his club Newcastle. Smith will link with a midfield of Tuilagi and Henry Slade.
Uncapped hooker Nic Dolly is on the bench, alongside prop Joe Marler, who will return to the squad on Friday after COVID isolation. “This is our biggest game of the season and the final game of the autumn campaign and we want to finish with a bang," coach Eddie Jones said following wins over Tonga and Australia.
England team to face South Africa: 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 4 caps) 14. Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 6 caps) 13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 42 caps) 12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 45 caps) 11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 68 caps) 10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 4 caps) 9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 111 caps) 1. Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 1 cap) 2. Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, 4 caps) 3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 46 caps) 4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 50 caps) 5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 11 caps) 6. Courtney Lawes (C) (Northampton Saints, 89 caps) 7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 26 caps) 8. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 35 caps) Replacements. 16. Nic Dolly (Leicester Tigers, uncapped) 17. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 73 caps) 18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 14 caps) 19. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 25 caps) 20. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 8 caps) 21. Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 3 caps) 22. Raffi Quirke (Sale Sharks, 1 cap) 23. Max Malins (Saracens, 9 caps)
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