Jamie George and Mako Vunipola in revamped England front row for Springboks

Ellis Genge and Luke Cowan-Dickie drop out of the starting XV.

Back in favour: Mako and Jamie George.
Back in favour: Mako and Jamie George.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

ENGLAND HAVE overhauled their front row for Saturday’s climax to the Autumn Nations Series against South Africa at Twickenham.

Prop Mako Vunipola and hooker Jamie George have replaced Ellis Genge and Luke Cowan-Dickie in anticipation of the Springboks’ forward-led assault.

Vunipola and George made significant contributions from the bench in the 25-25 draw with New Zealand and are present among four changes to the starting XV.

Wing Tommy Freeman makes his first appearance since the July tour to Australia at the expense of Jack Nowell and Alex Coles comes in for Sam Simmonds at blindside flanker.

Eddie Jones has retained the half-back partnership of Jack van Poortvliet and Marcus Smith with Owen Farrell continuing at inside centre.

Manu Tuilagi wins his 50th cap having made his debut against Wales in 2011.

“This is our last game of the autumn and our chance to continue building on the improvements we have made throughout the matches,” Jones said.

“We have made steady progress from game to game, culminating in a pulsating draw against New Zealand.

“Now we have the chance to test ourselves against the might of the world champions.

“We’re going out there to light the crowd up. The support at Twickenham was outstanding last week and we want to work hard on the pitch to make sure we have another atmosphere like that again on Saturday.”

ENGLAND team vs South Africa

Freddie Steward; Tommy Freeman, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell (capt), Jonny May; Marcus Smith, Jack van Poortvliet; Billy Vunipola, Tom Curry, Alex Coles; Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje; Kyle Sinckler, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola

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Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, David Ribbans, Sam Simmonds, Ben Youngs, Henry Slade, Jack Nowell


Tom Wright; Jordan Petaia, Len Ikitau, Reece Hodge, Mark Nawaqanitawase; Ben Donaldson, Jake Gordon; Langi Gleeson, Fraser McReight, Jed Holloway; Cadeyrn Neville, Nick Frost; Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga’a, James Slipper (capt)

Replacements: Lachlan Lonergan, Tom Robertson, Sam Talakai, Ned Hanigan, Pete Samu, Tate McDermott, Noah Lolesio, Jock Campbell

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