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Preview: South Africa v England (23-06-18)

With the series already decided, England will look to end their barren spell in the third and final Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Eddie Jones’ men have suffered six consecutive defeats, results which have seen them plummet down the world rankings. Once the dominant force in Europe, having won the 2016 and ’17 Six Nations, the Red Rose have slipped significantly and are in the midst of a crisis.

Jones has therefore shuffled the pack with Danny Cipriani finally starting after 10 years out of the XV. George Ford is the player sacrificed after failing to manage the opening two games sufficiently well from the pivot position.

As well as issues with discipline, their kicking out of hand has been a problem throughout this tour and the Australian will look for Cipriani and Ben Youngs to provide that control from half-back.

Youngs is perhaps fortunate to retain his place and it is bemusing that England would take Ben Spencer and Dan Robson and not give them much chance to impress. It is evident that the Red Rose boss does not rate the Wasps player as highly as others but, irrespective of Robson’s omission, Spencer will also be frustrated by his lack of minutes.

You question what Jones will learn from not giving them the required opportunity and what the consequences will be should Youngs and Danny Care go down before the World Cup.

Rassie Erasmus, on the other hand, seems to have got it spot on in terms of giving other members of his squad the requisite game time. The Springboks head coach has fielded an inexperienced backline, with the exciting Warrick Gelant and Andre Esterhuizen both included.

Jessie Kriel and Elton Jantjies also have a chance to impress now that the series has been won, but Erasmus has named a largely unchanged pack, with hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle the only alteration.

On the bench, Embrose Papier is set to win his second cap while it could be a wonderful send off for hooker Schalk Brits, who is due to retire after this match. The ex-Saracens player should already be enjoying his holidays but was called up following Bismarck du Plessis’ withdrawal and it will be a wonderful way to end an outstanding career.

With the changes, England should be firm favourites, however. Although the Vunipolas are out, they will have a bit more continuity than their opponents and the inclusion of a confident Cipriani will give them a lift.

Another factor in their favour is the match taking place away from the Highveld. The Red Rose have struggled to live with the pace of South Africa and Cape Town may be more to their liking.

Previous results:
2018: South Africa won 23-12 in Bloemfontein
2018: South Africa won 42-39 in Johannesburg
2016: England won 37-21 in London
2014: South Africa won 31-28 in London
2012: South Africa won 16-15 in London
2012: South Africa and England drew 14-14 in Port Elizabeth
2012: South Africa won 36-27 in Johannesburg
2012: South Africa won 22-17 in Durban

RR WORLD RANKINGS – Points possibilities

RSA (on 84.66 points) at home -vs- ENG (on 84.34 points)

Possible Outcome Rating Point
Will ENG
overtake RSA?
If RSA win by 1-15 points 0.668 85.33 83.67 No
If RSA win by more than 15 1.002 85.66 83.34 No
If result is a draw 0.332 84.33 84.67 Yes
If ENG win by 1-15 points 1.332 83.33 85.67 Yes
If ENG win by more than 15 1.998 82.66 86.34 Yes

The teams:

South Africa: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 S’busiso Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Willie le Roux

England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Mike Brown, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Maro Itoje, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Sam Simmonds, 22 Ben Spencer, 23 Denny Solomona

Date: Saturday, June 23
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 17:05 local (16:05 BST, 15:05 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Romain Poite (France), Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)



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