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Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images England manager Stuart Lancaster.
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Johnson, Marler to make England debuts in South Africa
Johnson, a flanker from Exeter, and Harlequins prop Mahler are set to play at Mr Price Kings Park.

ENGLAND HAVE NAMED uncapped pair Tom Johnson and Joe Marler in their team to face South Africa in Durban on Saturday.

Stuart Lancaster’s team travel to South Africa for the opening Test of a three-match series hoping to record their first win in the country since a 27-22 success in Bloemfontein in 2000.

Johnson, a flanker from Exeter, and Harlequins prop Mahler are set to play at Mr Price Kings Park.

Ben Youngs is scheduled to play at scrum-half. Youngs will replace Lee Dickson, with Ben Foden moving to the left wing for David Strettle and Mike Brown expected to play at full back.

“Tom (Johnson) and Joe (Marler) have had great seasons at their clubs and have worked really hard to get this chance, both are in great form and have really impressed in training,” Lancaster said.

“Equally, Mike Brown has been outstanding for Harlequins. By moving Ben (Foden) to the wing we retain his strike power and aerial skills and can utilise not only Mike’s attacking and defensive assets we can also call on his left-footed kicking game.

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“Selection is competitive in lots of positions, particularly at scrum half. We are really pleased with Ben (Youngs)’ form and he knows our systems well.

“We have made no secret of how tough this series will be but it is an opportunity we are looking forward to and I am confident that we can perform.”

South Africa have won their last seven Tests against England.

England team: Mike Brown, Chris Ashton, Manu Tuilagi, Brad Barritt, Ben Foden, Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs, Joe Marler, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole, Mouritz Botha, Geoff Parling, Tom Johnson, Chris Robshaw (captain), Ben Morgan.

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