15:45 EST, 20 June 2012
15:45 EST, 20 June 2012
Danny Care will complete his England rehabilitation with a return to the Test team on Saturday, one of six starting changes as the tourists attempt to end a gruelling season by claiming a consolation victory here at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
With key players succumbing to injury and others to an untimely loss of form, head coach Stuart Lancaster has been forced to overhaul the team for the final instalment of the three-match series against the Springboks.
Trailing the host nation 2-0 following narrow defeats in Durban and Johannesburg, some familiar faces will be back in the ranks when the England line-up is announced on Thursday morning.
Welcome back: Stuart Lancaster (left) will hand a recall to Danny Care (right)
Care is poised to make his first Test appearance since last August and win a 33rd cap to end a turbulent period in his career. The Harlequins scrum-half missed the World Cup through injury, then descended into a period of alcohol-related disciplinary problems, leading to his expulsion from the England squad in one of Lancaster’s first acts as head coach.
Having been a frustrated observer during the Six Nations, there was a further late-night incident which brought Care to the attention of the police.
Goode (Saracens); Ashton (Saracens), Joseph (London
Irish), Tuilagi (Leicester), Foden (Northampton); Flood (Leicester),
Care (Harlequins); Corbisiero (London Irish), Hartley (Northampton,
capt), Cole (Leicester); Palmer (Wasps), Parling (Leicester); Johnson
(Exeter), Waldrom (Leicester), Haskell (Wasps).
However, with support from his club
and Lancaster, he addressed his behavioural issues and was recalled for
this tour on the back of fine form for Quins. Now, after a superb
display in the first midweek win, he returns to the Test XV as a
replacement for the injured Ben Youngs, ahead of Lee Dickson.
Ben Foden will shift out to the left wing again to make room for Alex Goode’s full Test debut at full back.
Lancaster is a long-standing admirer of the Saracens rookie, who is a dangerous open-field runner with an all-round kicking game. Bringing him in is another brave selection by the England management, suggesting that the tourists will chase victory boldly on Saturday.
James Haskell, like Care, is an established figure returning to action after a lengthy absence. His last Test appearance came as a replacement in the World Cup quarter-final defeat against France in Auckland last October.
Rapid rise: Saracens’ Alex Goode is set to make his full England debut
Since then, the back rower has been broadening his rugby horizons with playing stints in Japan and latterly in New Zealand with Otago Highlanders. Now, with captain Chris Robshaw reluctantly out of contention with a thumb injury, Haskell is poised to resurface in his preferred position of openside flanker to win a 43rd cap.
Leicester’s Kiwi No 8 Thomas Waldrom will make his full Test debut at No 8 after impressing as a replacement last weekend.
There are two further changes in the pack, with London Irish prop Alex Corbisiero back at loosehead alongside stand-in skipper Dylan Hartley and Wasps lock Tom Palmer taking over from Mouritz Botha in the second row.
South Africa will show three enforced changes, with flanker Willem Alberts and full back Pat Lambie injured and centre Frans Steyn getting married.
Jacques Potgeiter makes his debut in the back row, while Gio Aplon and Wynand Olivier come into the backs at 15 and 12 respectively.