South Africa v England: Alex Corbisiero out with knee injury
Alex Corbisiero is ruled out of the third and final Test against South Africa after suffering a recurrence of a knee injury
England loosehead prop Alex Corbisiero has been ruled out of the third Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Saturday after suffering a recurrence of a knee injury.
Corbisiero was set to start the final match of the three-Test series at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium after coming on in England’s 36-27 defeat by the Springboks last weekend.
But the 23-year-old was ruled out on Friday having missed the first Test through injury after establishing himself in Lancaster’s starting line-up during this year’s Six Nations campaign.
Harlequins’ Joe Marler will make his third start in Corbisiero’s place with Paul Doran-Jones called up as one of the replacements, and Lancaster was full of sympathy for his injured player.
“Alex trained well early in the week having played well at the weekend but the knee reacted over the last 24 hours,” said Lancaster in a statement.
“It is a shame for Alex as he was desperate to take part but it’s the right thing to put in Joe and we are sure he can build on his performances in the first two tests.”
Lancaster has made six changes for the third Test as England look to avoid a series whitewash after defeats in Durban and Johannesburg.
Saracens full-back Alex Goode will make his full England debut after earning his first cap coming off the bench last Saturday.
The 24-year-old has had to bide his time on the international scene having represented his country at all under-age levels as well as with the Saxons, but Goode was adamant he knew his time would come if he kept working hard.
“You’ve just got to keep knocking with good performances really,” said the 24-year-old. “I believed if I played well, year on year, game on game, then consistency would favour me.
“I put in some good performances with the Saxons as well and was always optimistic in that regard.”
There will also be a first England start for New Zealand-born Thomas Waldrom who like Goode made his debut as a replacement last Saturday.
Waldrom was in imperious form as England defeated South Africa Barbarians 54-26 in Kimberley last week, and his performance has caught the eye of Lancaster.
Injured captain Chris Robshaw will be replaced by flanker James Haskell, who will receive his 43rd cap in his first appearance since last year’s World Cup campaign, with Danny Care in for his first start since August.
England: Goode, Ashton, Joseph, Tuilagi, Foden, Flood, Care, Marler, Hartley, Cole, Palmer, Parling, Johnson, Haskell, Waldrom. Replacements: Mears, Doran-Jones, Botha, Dowson, Dickson, Farrell, Barritt.
© Sportsbeat 2012