The Harlequins winger, who missed out last week against New Zealand, returns after Bath Rugby winger Semesa Rokoduguni was released to his club with a thigh injury after making his Test debut against in the 24-21 defeat to the All Blacks.
“The players have responded well and we’ve had a good few days’ training,” England head coach Lancaster said.
“Roko did some limited training this morning, but is unlikely to fully recover from his thigh injury in time for the game, so Marland is in the group coming back tomorrow.
Yarde’s inclusion is the only change from the 23 players selected to face New Zealand, while James Haskell, the Wasps number 8, has been retained at Pennyhill Park after Northampton Saints’ Tom Wood was unable to play a full part in Tuesday’s training session.
Bath centre Kyle Eastmond returned to full training on having recovered from an illness and is set to keep his place in the England midfield despite speculation that Saracens star Owen Farrell could start at 12 with George Ford starting at outside-half.
“Tom is still sore from the weekend and sat out training, so we are including five back rows to give us options before we announce the side on Thursday morning,” Lancaster added.
England squad to face South Africa:
Forwards (14): Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby), Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), George Kruis (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Matt Mullan (Wasps), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, captain), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Rob Webber (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints).
Backs (10): Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Marland Yarde (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Returning to Aviva Premiership clubs: Calum Clark (Northampton Saints), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Graham Kitchener (Leicester Tigers), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby), Henry Thomas (Bath Rugby), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens).
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