Sport: Jones picks Rodd and Blamire in starting XV for South Africa clash

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England have selected a rookie front-row featuring Bevan Rodd and Jamie Blamire for Saturday’s showdown with South Africa.

With Ellis Genge in isolation and Jamie George injured, Eddie Jones has been forced to fast-track the prop and hooker to start against the ‘Bomb Squad’.

Rodd started against the Wallabies but Saturday’s encounter will provide a far sterner test of his scrummaging credentials.

Having missed 10 day of training due to Covid isolation, the experienced Joe Marler has only been deemed ready for a spot on the bench.

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At hooker, Blamire’s only previous start was against Canada – but this weekend he will take on the world champions, with the uncapped Nic Dolly on the bench.

‘This is our biggest game of the season and the final game of the autumn campaign and we want to finish with a bang,’ said head coach Eddie Jones.

‘We’ve been really pleased with the preparation this week and how the team has continued to develop over the past month.

Courtney Lawes will captain the side from flanker in the absence of Owen Farrell © Provided by Daily Mail Courtney Lawes will captain the side from flanker in the absence of Owen Farrell

‘Now we want to put on our best performance this autumn in front of a capacity 82,000 crowd at Twickenham.’

Up front, Kyle Sinckler continues at tighthead, backed up by the familiar lock combination of Maro Itoje and Jonny Hill.

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Courtney Lawes will captain the side from flanker, in a back row featuring Sam Underhill and Tom Curry.

Manu Tuilagi shifts to inside-centre after being a surprise pick on the wing against Australia © Provided by Daily Mail Manu Tuilagi shifts to inside-centre after being a surprise pick on the wing against Australia

In the backline, there is one forced personnel change, with Joe Marchant starting on the wing following the withdrawal of Owen Farrell.

Manu Tuilagi shifts into Farrell’s No 12 jersey, forming a midfield partnership with Marcus Smith and Henry Slade.

Having started every Test of the campaign, Freddie Steward and Jonny May will complete the back-three, with Ben Youngs at No 9.

ENGLAND TEAM TO FACE SOUTH AFRICA

STARTING XV: 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)

FINISHERS: 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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