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  • Writer's picturePaul Andrews

England Team To Play South Africa Announced

England men’s head coach Steve Borthwick has named his team to play South Africa in the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup 2023 at Stade de France (kick-off 9pm CEST, 8pm BST live on ITV Sport) on Saturday.

Owen Farrell will captain a starting XV with three changes to the side that defeated Fiji 30-24 in Sunday’s quarter-final in Marseille.

In the front row, Joe Marler returns to the loosehead and packs down with Jamie George at hooker and Dan Cole at tighthead. At lock, Maro Itoje partners George Martin, who starts his second game of the Rugby World Cup. An unchanged back row sees vice-captain Courtney Lawes on the blindside flank, Tom Curry at openside and Ben Earl wear the No.8 shirt.

In the half-back berths, Alex Mitchell continues his partnership with last Sunday’s Mastercard player-of-the-match Farrell. In midfield, Manu Tuilagi is named at inside centre, with Joe Marchant at 13.

In the back three, Elliot Daly continues on the left wing, with Jonny May on the right and Freddie Steward returns to the starting XV at full-back.

Hooker Theo Dan, props Ellis Genge (vice-captain) and Kyle Sinckler, together with Ollie Chessum, Billy Vunipola, Danny Care, George Ford (vice-captain) and Ollie Lawrence, make up a strong and experienced replacements bench.

“After an excellent few days preparation in Paris, we look forward to the challenge of playing the World Champions and number one ranked team in the world,” said Borthwick.

“Through this tournament the team has progressed, with the players repeatedly finding a way to win, sometimes in challenging circumstances. We will once again need to be at our very best this weekend as we face an excellent team in South Africa."

“There is no doubt the players will truly relish the challenge of knockout rugby under the lights in Paris. These players will, as they have done in every game of this tournament, give absolutely everything in the semi-final to get the result we want."

“I also know that our supporters will once again be there in their thousands, playing their part in backing the team with a full voice. To all those who have travelled and to all those lending their support and encouragement from home, I say ‘thank you’.”

The team:

15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 29 caps)

14. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 77 caps)

13. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 24 caps)

12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 57 caps)

11. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 63 caps)

10. Owen Farrell – captain (Saracens, 110 caps)

9. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 10 caps)

1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 87 caps)

2. Jamie George (Saracens, 83 caps)

3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 105 caps)

4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 74 caps)

5. George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 8 caps)

6. Courtney Lawes – vice-captain (Northampton Saints, 104 caps)

7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 48 caps)

8. Ben Earl (Saracens, 23 caps)


16. Theo Dan (Saracens, 6 caps)

17. Ellis Genge – vice-captain (Bristol Bears, 56 caps)

18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 67 caps)

19. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 16 caps)

20. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 74 caps)

21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 94 caps)

22. George Ford – vice-captain (Sale Sharks, 89 caps)

23. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 19 caps)

Photo credit - Image supplied by The RFU for use with this story.


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