Autumn Internationals 2018: England team to face South Africa
Head coach Eddie Jones has named his England team to face South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday. It’s their first Test of the 2018 Autumn Internationals.
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints) and Owen Farrell (Saracens) are named as co-captains in a starting XV which includes 413 caps.
Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs) will make his starting debut for England while uncapped players Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby) and Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs) are named as finishers.
George Kruis (Saracens), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) and Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors) are included for the first time since last season’s Six Nations.
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers) is named as a finisher having last played for England against Wales in the 2016 Six Nations.
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“We’ve become very well organised in our set piece and have done a lot of good work in Portugal over the last week,” said Jones. “We have put in a new defence system and our attack looks more organised than it was on the South Africa tour.”
On taking on South Africa Jones said: “Against South Africa you have got the physical battle up front and then you have to be tactically smart in how you attack against them. We need to find ways to gain momentum, then once we find momentum, convert that to points.
“We are really excited to be back at Twickenham Stadium. It’s been a long time and we can’t wait to play in front of 82,000 fans.”