England drop Waldrom, Johnson and Sharples as new faces come in


Stuart Lancaster has dropped back rows Thomas Waldrom and Tom Johnson from his England squad of 23 for this weekends match against South Africa.

Charlie Sharples has also been left out leaving Chris Ashton as the only recognised winger in the squad. With loosehead Joe Marler suffering knee ligament damage, Alex Corbisiero comes into the squad for the first time this Autumn.

Joining Corbisiero in the squad for the first time this series are Ben Morgan, James Haskell and Jonathan Jospeh for the dropped Waldrom, Johnson and Sharples.

With Ashton being the only winger in the squad, it is likely to be either Manu Tuilagi or Mike Brown joining him on the other flank. Mike Brown has impressed in the wing as a substitute in the last two games, but early indications are that Tuilagi will shift to the wing, with Lancaster keen to make room for Joseph in the centres without losing Tuilagi’s unique strike power.

In the back row Tom Wood looks set to be elevated to the starting line up in the 6 shirt, while the incoming Morgan and Haskell are expected to fight it out for the Number 8 slot, with Morgan the likely winner in that particular battle.

It also seems likely that Corbisiero will go straight into the starting team in the absence of Marler as despite promising contributions from Mako Vunipola, the England management are thought to be reluctant to give him his full debut against what will be a tough Springbok front row.

Joe Launchbury does seem likely to start his first full game in the second row, after an excellent cameo against Australia. There is some unrest in the second row though with Mouritz Botha retained as Geoff Parling has a slight knock, he is expected to be fit though.

Probable England side v South Africa:

15. Alex Goode, 14. Chris Ashton, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Brad Barritt, 11. Manu Tuilagi, 10. Toby Flood, 9. Danny Care; 1. Alex Corbisiero, 2. Tom Youngs, 3. Dan Cole, 4. Joe Launchbury, 5. Geoff Parling, 6. Tom Wood, 7. Chris Robshaw (Captain), 8. Ben Morgan.

Replacements: 16. David Paice, 17. David Wilson, 18. Mako Vunipola, 19. Tom Palmer, 20. James Haskell, 21. Ben Youngs, 22. Owen Farrell, 22. Mike Brown.

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