South Africa v England: Flood and Joseph form new midfield pairing
Stuart Lancaster recalls Toby Flood and hands centre Jonathan Joseph his debut for England's second Test in South Africa
England coach Stuart Lancaster has opted to recall Toby Flood at fly-half and hand centre Jonathan Joseph his debut for the second Test against South Africa in Johannesburg.
Flood replaces Owen Farrell at stand-off, after the Saracens youngster’s poor display in the first Test, to partner his Leicester teammate Ben Youngs at half-back.
There are further changes in the backline with Manu Tuilagi shifting to 12 to replace the injured Brad Barritt and accommodate Joseph’s inclusion at outside centre.
After starting on the wing Ben Foden reverts to full-back, replacing the injured Mike Brown with David Strettle returning on the left win.
Farrell was promoted to the England starting XV during the 2012 RBS 6 Nations but Lancaster felt that Flood, England’s most experienced member of the touring party, deserves his shot.
“The time is right [for Toby] to demonstrate his experience and skills,” Lancaster said.
“I am delighted for JJ – he has trained very well and showed against the Barbarians and in his short time on the field in the first Test that he is ready to make the step to international rugby.
“To have two 21-year-old centres is exciting and we are looking forward to seeing this combination in action.
“Owen has had a fantastic season and I am sure he will make a significant impact from the bench.”
There are two changes in the replacements with Alex Corbisiero in for Paul Doran Jones and Alex Goode taking over from Flood.
England: B Foden; C Ashton, J Joseph, M Tuilagi, D Strettle; T Flood, B Youngs; J Marler, D Hartley, D Cole, M Botha, G Parling, T Johnson, C Robshaw (capt), B Morgan. Replacements: L Mears, A Corbisiero, T Palmer, P Dowson, L Dickson, O Farrell, A Goode.
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