Category Archive: South Africa Rugby

South Africa Rugby News

Nov 12

Eddie Jones says England have to be better after South Africa victory

• ‘Overall it was a pass mark and we have to improve against Fiji’
• England coach impressed with result rather than performance

Eddie Jones welcomed England’s first victory over South Africa since 2006 but was far more impressed with the result than the performance.

“We have got to get better,” said Jones, who became the first England head coach to win his opening 10 matches in charge. “We are nowhere near good enough at the moment. Overall it was a pass mark and we have to improve against Fiji next weekend.”

Related: Ben Youngs runs show as England end 10-year jinx against Springboks

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Nov 12

Ben Youngs runs show as England end 10-year jinx against Springboks

• England 37-21 South Africa
• Boks left looking ordinary on wet Twickenham pitch

Eddie Jones had spoken in the buildup to this game about transferring the approach of Muhammad Ali from the boxing ring to the rugby field, pulling large and imposing forwards from one side to the other until they reached collapse.

There was more sliding than floating on Saturday with the Twickenham surface affected by the rain that had been falling all day, but the England head coach’s strategy had already worked by the interval against opponents who were shockingly ordinary.

Related: Eddie Jones says England have to be better after South Africa victory

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Nov 12

England 37-21 South Africa: rugby union autumn internationals – as it happened

  • England beat Springboks for first time since 2006
  • Win makes it 10 out of 10 under Eddie Jones

4.39pm GMT

Related: Ben Youngs runs the show as England end Springboks’ 10-year jinx

Related: Wales v Argentina: rugby union autumn internationals – live!

4.28pm GMT

Right that’s it from me. I’d love to sit around and analyse that but the Wales v Argentina MBM is going live in exactly two minutes and I’m needed over there. Do pop over and join me.

Thanks for reading this one though, and thanks for all the tweets and emails. Apologies for not using them all and apologies if you like rugby league. I’m right though. Bye!

4.26pm GMT

@DanLucas86 Dan, your snipes are keeping me amused in a cafe in Argentina. OK 30-14 up, but i’m guessing Eddie Jones still looks miserable?!

I’d say his expression at full-time is “grimly satisfied”. Nathan Hughes on the other hand is the happiest man on earth by the looks of things.

4.25pm GMT

England get a penalty but Farrell decides enough is enough and pops it into touch. England’s 10-year hoodoo ends!

4.24pm GMT

80 min Daly catches the restart under no pressure in the South Africa 22! Flung wide right and England can go for one more from here.

4.23pm GMT

Over it goes and we’ll have time for one more play.

Scotland lost.

4.22pm GMT

Good try this from second phase ball, Goosen’s flat miss-pass takes out Yarde and the full-back goes over.

4.21pm GMT

78 min Care nearly picks off a pass from Le Roux but can’t cling on. Knock on only and South Africa have a scrum with a couple of minutes to go.

4.20pm GMT

77 min Marler is done for a high tackle and this time Combrink takes it, finding an excellent touch in the corner. Mapoue on for Pietersen.

Scotland are one point down and have possession near halfway with the clock in the red.

4.19pm GMT

76 min It’s just a penalty, which Le Roux whacks out touch in goal. This is so, so bad from South Africa. Joe Launchbury is man of the match and fully deserved that is.

4.17pm GMT

75 min But it’s knocked and, after Joseph carries it, Farrell kicks ahead. A few kick exchanges then Hughes marks his international debut by flattening Goosen while trying to charge the replacement fly-half’s chip ahead. It looks a fraction late but there’s very little in it.

4.16pm GMT

74 min Here we go: Mostert wins the lineout and here come the drives…

4.15pm GMT

73 min Robshaw is very close to picking off a loose pass from Francois Venter. It’s frankly a mess right now. Sinckler penalised and Goosen pops it into the corner.

Bad news Scotland fans. You don’t need me to tell you what’s happened.

4.14pm GMT

72 min Brown fields a long clearance but takes it into touch. Never mind as Attwood pinches the lineout and Farrell, who is at 10 now Ford has gone off (as has Billy V) puts it up. Kyle Sinckler comes on for his debut in place of Dan Cole.

4.12pm GMT

71 min Te’o and Attwood on for England, Mbonambi for South Africa. England win the lineout and go right, but Marler loses it in the pouring rain. I’ve got to bloody go home to this weather.

4.11pm GMT

69 min South Africa carry it up into the England half but turn it over and Farrell cuts the line to ribbons. Inside it goes to Ford and he attacks the retreating Bok line before chipping over the top. Combrink fields and it’s cleared but this is awful from South Africa.

4.09pm GMT

68 min Carr replaces De Jager, Care replaces Youngs. The England No9 might be man of the match. Kicked ahead and Pietersen throws a massive forward pass under no pressure in his own 22, but gets away with it.

4.08pm GMT

Youngs does it again! Another dummy, Du Toit is sold up the river for the second time and this time it’s Farrell on his should for the simple finish under the posts. He knocks over the extras too.

4.07pm GMT

66 min Now England use the backs and Daly shuffles up a few metres on the left. Back inside and South Africa’s defence is good, driving Brown back out the 22…

4.06pm GMT

65 min That is a mighty scrum from England and Robshaw drives it up in the tight, into the 22. George carries it on but then momentum is stalled when Marler hesitates. Billy Vunipola rights that.

4.05pm GMT

64 min It’s an England scrum right on the South Africa 22. Another try here would kill this one off.

4.04pm GMT

63 min And from 40 metres Farrell’s kick drifts left. De Klerk replaces Paige, Joseph replaces May. From the restart though, Du Toit knocks on. Marler on for Mako.

4.01pm GMT

61 min Absolute thriller at Murrayfield where Scotland are holding on desperately with 15 minutes to play. Back here, De Allende is pinged for a high tackle on Brown.

And in the interests of fairness:

@DanLucas86 @guardian_sport England’s first try was a second man play – a tactic which came from RL. Just saying….

4.00pm GMT

60 min Goosen scuffs and pulls a horrible kick wide to the left from out on the right.

4.00pm GMT

And finally the Boks do make a break! It’s the speedy No8 Whitely, slipping away from May and bursting down the right after a nice offload out the back of the hand from De Allende. He pops it inside and Goosen scampers over from the 22. They check that the offload wasn’t forward and, despite Stuart Barnes’ protests on Sky, it clearly isn’t.

3.58pm GMT

58 min While I was making a note of the changes South Africa appear to have nabbed the ball back. They still can’t get anywhere and are now back in their own half.

3.57pm GMT

57 min Off comes captain Hartley with a 100% strike rate at the lineout, George on. The ball goes left from this lineout but there’s a knock-on and Goosen clears long to Brown, who runs it back and is chopped down on his own 10 metre line. Both props have been changed for South Africa.

3.55pm GMT

56 min Ford goes high and now South Africa look to carry it back from deep. England’s defence drifts and takes Strauss into touch with not much ground gained for the visitors.

3.55pm GMT

55 min “Greetings from Luxembourg, where my hotel, strangely, has BBC 1,” begins Derek Robertson. “No matter how many points Scotland score, or how far ahead we get, you know that a) nothing will wipe the memory of having our most glorious result snatched from us by a cowardly cheese eating surrender monkey and b) we will find a way to lose this, no matter what. That’s what we do.”

You deserved to lose that semi-final, Derek. Come on now.

3.54pm GMT

54 min Ford finds touch on the right with a nice kick, just outside the 22. Nathan Hughes makes his debut, coming on for Wood who has played well on his comeback. Lambie is replaced by Goosen.

3.52pm GMT

53 min Scrappy lineout ball but South Africa retain it and Strauss burrows down the right before De Jager carries towards the 22. Eventually Koch drops it and Youngs kicks for May to chase. This time Combrink does gather cleanly.

3.50pm GMT

52 min Brown goes offside at the breakdown and gives away a penalty. Lambie, after a bit of treatment, finds touch midway inside the England half on the right.

At Murrayfield it’s Scotland 22-16 Australia, in Rome it’s Italy 10-68 New Zealand.

3.48pm GMT

51 min So they revert to type, picking and driving their way up into the England half before Lambie kicks. May calls the mark and kick tennis ensues. Joy.

3.47pm GMT

50 min Youngs shanks his box kick but May regathers and the No9 can try again, going deeper and pushing South Africa back into their own half. The Springboks have offered absolutely nothing with ball in hand so far today. I can’t remember a single line break.

3.46pm GMT

I think my prediction of an eight-point winning margin might be wrong.

3.46pm GMT

48 min From the lineout England move it infield and, though the ball is eventually spilled, South Africa went offside and Farrell will have an easy kick from 26 metres, right in front.

3.45pm GMT

47 min Alberts secures it and Lambie clears high into touch. England will have a lineout around 15 metres outside of the Bok 22 on their right.

@DanLucas86 Danners – what are the boxes on the shirt backs for – spine protection, health monitoring, auto-ID if they get concussed…..

3.43pm GMT

46 min England scrum dead centre then. Clean ball, Ford chips for the corner and executes it perfectly.

Completely absorbed by the Scotland game @DanLucas86, which is excellent. England’s first half sounded just as good, but can we sustain it?

3.42pm GMT

45 min Lambie puts his restart out on the full. I’m calling it: they’re done.

3.42pm GMT

South Africa are a rabble – their lack of back-row pace showing. Vunipola draws three men into the tackle and Youngs, from the 10 metre line, dummies and waltzes through a gap. He times his pop pass inside perfectly and Ford canters under the sticks.

3.40pm GMT

43 min May has a burst down the outside and England move it back infield just outside the 22. It’s slow stuff but this is a great position … until it’s turned over and Whitely boots it into the England half. May runs back to halfway.

Scotland have another try! They lead 22-13.

3.39pm GMT

42 min England go probing in midfield but the combination of the South African defence and the slippy ball mean there’s no go forward and Mako Vunipola spills it. Lambie chips, Robshaw regathers and we try again.

3.38pm GMT

Peeeep! George Ford kicks into the South African 22, no changes as far as I can see. Paige box-kicks to touch on the right a few metres outside his 22.

Italy have scored and the TMO is checking to see if Scotland have.

3.36pm GMT

People don’t seem to be happy that I said rugby league is rubbish. My views on rugby league do not reflect those of the Guardian, I guess I should stay.

Back with real rugby and Australia have pulled back a penalty at the start of the second half; they trail Scotland 17-13. New Zealand lead Italy 54-3 in Rome.

3.23pm GMT

No question who finished that half in the ascendancy. England sorted out their early disciplinary woes and are starting to look rather comfortable. Back in 10.

3.22pm GMT

With the angle it’s 51 metres, which is nothing to this guy. He steps up and knocks it through with barely a chip!

3.21pm GMT

39 min Paige kicks and Brown comes haring back over halfway. Alberts, I think, goes off his feet at the breakdown and it’s a penalty to England 49 metres out, just to the left. Hello, Elliot Daly…

3.18pm GMT

38 min Youngs returns the restart, South Africa pick and go just inside the England half and the hitherto excellent Launchbury wins the turnover. Youngs goes high and Yarde wins it in midfield. Wood takes it into the 22 and they go left but Ford’s rubbish forward pass is dropped by Lawes. Etzebeth will stay off.

Scotland lead Australia 17-10 at half-time.

3.16pm GMT

From just to the left, Farrell knocks over the extras. May’s kick chase for that try was outstanding, as was Daly’s kick ahead.

3.15pm GMT

Courtney Lawes has his first international try on the day of his 50th cap!

3.15pm GMT

Left and then Daly chips it ahead for May to chase. He puts the pressure on Combrink and the ball goes loose in the South Africa 22. Brown dives for the line and doesn’t appear to get anything on the ball. It spins backwards off his thigh and Lawes (!) outpaces De Allende (!) to slide it over the line. I reckon this is a try.

3.12pm GMT

35 min De Allende looks to go for a run and is chopped down on halfway by Launchbury. Le Roux has had enough of that and sends a cute kick tumbling into touch on the South Africa left, 10 metres out. Wood secures the lineout, Youngs kicks high and Pietersen drops it…

3.11pm GMT

From 10 metres, right in front, Farrell chips it through.

3.10pm GMT

33 min Kock pulls his future team-mate Mako Vunipola to the ground and concedes a penalty and, effectively, three points.

3.10pm GMT

32 min

3.09pm GMT

31 min (still) We resume with an England scrum five metres out, which is a rather nice outcome for the men in white.

3.08pm GMT

Etzebeth is still down. He’s going to go off for an HIA and I wouldn’t be surprised if he can’t continue. Franco Mostert replaces him.

@DanLucas86 A curse on you and all your loved ones* for that comment about rugby league being rubbish

*not really, obviously

3.06pm GMT

31 min From the lineout England crash it up then Youngs gains 15 metres after a superb dummy! Vunipola crashes into Etzebeth, tall buildings shake and the South African lock has not come out of the collision well. Play is stopped.

3.04pm GMT

30 min Robshaw wins the turnover with a great tackle on Paige and England have it in midfield. Farrell kicks towards the corner but Pietersen has read the play. He goes back, gives it to Le Roux and the full-back clears to touch. Eddie Jones looks miserable.

3.03pm GMT

29 min I don’t know why I keep saying “bloody hell” when I fully expect Scotland to beat Australia. Back here, it’s a kicking exchange again.

3.02pm GMT

28 min Yes, England are crashing it up against these enormous South Africans. It can’t be a pleasant experience for any of them bar the Vunipolas. Back it goes to Ford 30 metres out in the pocket and he sticks a pretty damn poor drop-goal effort wide from right in front.

Bloody hell, try Scotland! They lead 17-10.

3.01pm GMT

27 min From the lineout England’s forwards rumble through hte middle. Ford slips a kick through for Yarde to chase down the right and Le Roux slides it into touch. Launchbury takes the lineout 10 metres from the line.

3.00pm GMT

“10-10 at Murrayfield. It was good while it lasted. And if this isn’t sacrilege on a rugby union live blog, how about a word for the Scotland rugby league team, who secured an historic 18-18 draw against New Zealand last night, a truly remarkable achievement.”

2.59pm GMT

26 min These two teams are both able to kick it a long-way to each other. Eventually Le Roux is the first to cock things up, whacking it into touch on the full from the middle of his own half.

2.58pm GMT

25 min Lawes wins it straight back and England go right, but backwards at a rate and Yarde, like a rabbit in the headlights, loses it. No one seems to want to gather it and eventually De Allende chips it into the England in-goal area. Brown touches down.

2.57pm GMT

24 min Farrell kicks to touch midway inside the South Africa half and Wood takes it, setting the maul. Left and again Daly is wrapped up but they recycle well and continue going left but Brown turns it over.

2.56pm GMT

23 min Billy V makes a strong charge through the middle but South Africa disrupt well at the breakdown and Youngs can’t gather it cleanly. Alberts scoops it up and goes back into the England half, but another turnover and the Boks are penalised this time.

2.55pm GMT

22 min Paige whacks it long and into touch from the restart. England have the lineout on their left, five inside the Springboks’ half. Into midfield they go.

2.54pm GMT

From right under the sticks, Lambie restores South Africa’s lead. As good as England have looked with ball in hand, that’s deserved.

2.52pm GMT

20 min Du Toit takes it and they form the maul. There’s a massive gap and Koch goes through it then offloads to Alberts just a few metres out! He’s dragged down but there is a penalty coming against Cole for offside.

2.51pm GMT

19 min And the Boks get another penalty. The penalty count tells you they’re edging it up front and Lambie kicks it down the line and into touch.

2.50pm GMT

18 min High ball again from Youngs, which Robshaw chases. The former captain leaps well but spills the bar of soap into touch. South Africa opt for the scrum four metres inside the England half, tight to the touchline.

2.49pm GMT

17 min South Africa win the scrum with few alarms and fewer surprises, then spin it left. Up to halfway and Paige goes high but Brown is secure under it just outside their 22. Daly looks to burst down the short side but is firmly driven back into his 22.

2.48pm GMT

16 min Ahh I’ve missed Autumn International scrums. No wait, that’s not right.

2.47pm GMT

15 min From the drop-out it goes loose a few metres inside the England half and they reclaim possession. They carry down the short-side – the right, that is, and seven eight and six show off some nice hands. But then at the next phase Lawes drops it, so South Africa have a scrum 15 inside their own half.

2.46pm GMT

14 min Lambie shanks a poor kick wide to the right from distance.

2.45pm GMT

13 min South Africa get a penalty and a chance to retake the lead immediately, when Mako Vunipola takes out a man in the air chasing a high kick from Youngs.

“Afternoon Dan,” begins Simon McMahon. “Fast start at Murrayfield, Laidlaw penalty puts Scotland ahead, Jones goes in under the posts after after a brilliant kick from Russell. 10-0 Scotland.”

2.44pm GMT

From the left-hand touchline, Farrell nervelessly curls it over.

2.44pm GMT

Oh that’s excellent. Quick ball off the top of the lineout again, Vunipola crashes it up and offloads out the tackle to Ford. Daly runs a gorgeous decoy line and Forde gives it to Yarde in space in midfield. The Quin has the awareness to see the overlap, gives it left to Brown and the full-back sends it out to May, who runs in a great finish from 25 metres!

2.42pm GMT

10 min From the lineout Launchbury makes a half-break and England work it right, 35 metres or so out. Ford plays a nice little shallow chip right for Yarde to take but Le Roux takes it well, juggling. He’s bundled into touch 25 metres from his own line…

2.41pm GMT

9 min England win the lineout through Launchbury, who taps it down and they move it infield. Ford kicks high but it’s not a good one, far too deep and Le Roux claims the mark under less pressure than Jurgen Klopp. Clears to touch near halfway.

2.40pm GMT

8 min The Beast spots a gap at the breakdown after Lambie claims the kick-off and tears through the heart of England to reach halfway! Recycled, left, and at that breakdown good work from Cole wins the turnover and the penalty. Farrell to touch down the right.

2.39pm GMT

It’s a bit far out for Lambie so he kicks to touch again, on the 22. Strauss throws long and De Allende catches it, hitting the line at speed and carrying into the 22. South Africa 15 metres out and Lambie, back in the pocket, switches to his left foot and chips it over!

2.38pm GMT

6 min And another penalty from the lineout – Wood entering the ensuing maul at the side. Let’s call this an overenthusiastic start from the men in white.

Greig Laidlaw has put Scotland 3-0 up against Australia, New Zealand have the bonus point try.

2.37pm GMT

5 min And now England concede a penalty from the restart; Launchbury going offside at the breakdown on South Africa’s 22. Lambie clears to touch on the right, around eight metres inside England’s half.

2.36pm GMT

From 42 metres, just off to the right, Lambie has no problems.

2.35pm GMT

3 min Brown dots down and England take a quick drop-out, looking to run from deep, and the ball goes left and loose. Andre Venter nearly intercepts but can’t grip the slippy ball. A ruck forms, it’s a mess and England go off their feet. Lambie will have a crack at goal.

2.34pm GMT

2 min And Youngs goes high to Willie le Roux. Essentially these first two minutes have been a rather forgettable exchange of kicks. Billy V calls the mark in his 22 but disappoints all by not taking the return kick himself.

2.32pm GMT

Peeeeeeeep! Jerome Garces – I’m not doing accents on names for this, sorry style guide – peeps his whistle and Pat Lambie kicks to Billy Vunipola in the 22. Youngs clears and it’s taken close to the touchline by Pietersen, who is wrapped up. Paige returns high.

2.27pm GMT

The players are in the tunnel … and now on the pitch. Courtney Lawes leads England out on the occasion of his 50th cap. There will be a two minute silence before the anthems.

Back over in Rome, New Zealand scored twice while I nipped off for a comfort break and lead Italy 21-3 after 22 minutes. At Murrayfield, they’re slightly ahead of Twickenham and are singing the anthems.

2.14pm GMT

The All Blacks are 7-0 up in Italy. That barely counts as news. Alternatively if you want to know why South Africa are such a mess right now then Mike Aylwin can tell you.

Related: Quotas just the start of turmoil as South Africa arrive amid a crisis

2.08pm GMT

Is there anybody out there? Well yes, John McEnerney is and he’s the first to get his prediction in.

@DanLucas86 both countries in different places right now Eng on the up & SA at their weakest 4 years(still tough 2 beat). Home win but close

1.58pm GMT

Apropos of which, it’s never a bad time to watch this.

1.55pm GMT

In a way I sort of hope this match will simply be won by Elliot Daly smashing them over from inside his own half.

Elliot Daly is warming up by practicing his placekicking. From inside the other half. They are sailing over posts #ENGvRSA @BBCLondonSport

1.50pm GMT

Elsewhere today there are early-afternoon kick-offs for Italy v New Zealand – good luck there, Conor O’Shea, and I mean that because he is the nicest man in rugby I’ve ever interviewed – and Scotland v Australia. Alas, no MBMs for those two but I’ll keep you apprised.

In the meantime, why not have a read of my colleague Gerard Meagher’s analysis of where this one will be won and lost? READ IT.

Related: Where England’s showdown with South Africa at Twickenham will be decided | Gerard Meagher

10.47pm GMT

Afternoon, folks. Let us hark back to 18 November 2006. A day in a bygone era, one before the internet was bad. Since that day FaceSpace and Twotter have been invented and Twotter invented Vine and then Vine died. Back then all those celebrities you loved were still alive. Since 18 November 2006, England have given debuts to 40 Test cricketers, 48 ODI cricketers, 104 Test rugby players and 72 footballers. Seven of those cricketers, 19 of those rugby players and five of those footballers have since ended their careers. The Arctic Monkeys and Taylor Swift both released their debut albums that same year and have since released four records each. There have been 14 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The entirety of Breaking Bad happened. And still, since that day, England have not beaten South Africa in 12 times of asking.

Could it finally be, then, lucky No13 for England? Well the pundits, and indeed the bookies seem to think it more than likely. England might be besieged by injuries but the Springboks are besieged by far more; not least not being very good these days. Eddie Jones has been forced to shuffle his deck considerably since the whitewash down under. The Northampton duo of Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood have hardly been helped by the Saints’ woeful form this season but into the pack they come from the wilderness, along with Joe Launchbury, with one almighty task in front of them.

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Nov 11

Lizard of Oz Eddie Jones ups intensity to get England through pit of snakes | Robert Kitson

The threat of a crushing defeat to South Africa lurks on Saturday, so the England coach is forced to continuously find new ways of ensuring his players never stop improving

Aside from the first pictures of Donald Trump inside the White House there was no disputing the week’s most terrifying image. Those cold-hearted racer snakes lying in wait for young marine iguanas on Sir David Attenborough’s wonderful new BBC natural history series also happened to be an ideal allegory for the treacherous landscape of professional sport. To elude crushing disappointment requires determination and, above all, resourcefulness when it matters.

In many ways that is Eddie Jones’s key attribute; it takes more than a pack of biro-wielding snakes to deter the wily, fast-talking lizard of Oz. Only last year the England squad was swallowed up and spat out of its own World Cup; since Jones took over they have not lost in nine games and shed their old skin of tactical uncertainty. Should South Africa win at Twickenham on Saturday, extending their 12-game unbeaten run in this fixture, it will be a surprise to anyone who has been in and around the England camp in Bagshot this week.

Related: Where England’s showdown with South Africa at Twickenham will be decided | Gerard Meagher

Related: Eddie Jones backs England to hit their peak for next World Cup final

Related: England pick Elliot Daly over Jonathan Joseph in side to face South Africa

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Nov 10

South Africa opt for physical force in team to face England

• Springboks’ massive pack reflects Allister Coetzee’s desire for ‘physicality’
• Pieter-Steph du Toit and Willem Alberts picked as flankers for Twickenham

Eddie Jones recently described South Africa as “bullies” and the Springboks have duly rendered this the latest example of the Wisdom of Eddie. Not that it takes a genius to predict how South Africa are likely to approach a Test match against England at Twickenham but even by their standards the pack they have announced for Saturday is massive.

South Africa have injury problems in the back row, which they have solved by going all out on the physicality front. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6ft 7in and 18st, and Willem Alberts, 6ft 4in and 19st, are the new flankers, with the former shifting from lock to make way for the mighty Lood de Jager, 6ft 9in and 19st.

Related: England pick Elliot Daly over Jonathan Joseph in side to face South Africa

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Nov 10

England pick Elliot Daly over Jonathan Joseph in side to face South Africa

• Speedy, elusive 24-year-old to partner Owen Farrell in midfield
• Tom Wood ends a year-long spell in the international wilderness

England have named Elliot Daly in place of Jonathan Joseph at outside centre for Saturday’s autumn opener against South Africa at Twickenham.

As predicted by the Guardian, Daly makes his full Test debut after winning five caps as a replacement, forming a new midfield partnership alongside Owen Farrell that offers long-range left and right-footed kicking options.

Related: Omission of Semesa Rokoduguni on England’s wing raises hackles at Bath

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Nov 09

Wasps’ Elliot Daly set to make first England start in South Africa Test

• He will take place of Bath’s Jonathan Joseph at outside centre
• Speedy, elusive 24-year-old to partner Owen Farrell in midfield

Elliot Daly of Wasps is set to make an unexpected first start for England on Saturday against South Africa at Twickenham in place of the regular outside centre Jonathan Joseph. The Bath player has had a firm grip on the No13 jersey since the head coach, Eddie Jones, took charge but the 24-year-old Daly is now earmarked to partner Owen Farrell in midfield.

Speedy and elusive, Daly, who has won five previous caps from the bench, can also kick long-range goals if required. He was a good enough cricketer to have represented England Under-15s but has had to wait patiently for a Twickenham starting chance despite his outstanding form for Wasps over the past year. Joseph has been nursing a slight groin strain which may have played some part in Jones’s thinking.

Related: Yarde and May over Rokoduguni and Wade? England face flak for wing picks

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Nov 08

England set to start Tom Wood in back row against South Africa

• Northampton player recalled to Eddie Jones’s squad
• Alex Goode and Semesa Rokoduguni dropped from squad

England are poised to restore Northampton’s Tom Wood to their back row against South Africa but have dropped Alex Goode and Semesa Rokoduguni from the squad to face the Springboks. The uncapped Nathan Hughes, Ben Te’o, Kyle Sinckler and Josh Beaumont have made the cut, with at least three set to be on the replacements’ bench at Twickenham on Saturday.

The 30-year-old Wood has not played for England since the World Cup but has been prominent in training alongside Chris Robshaw and Billy Vunipola.

Related: Rochelle Clark: ‘It’s still burning strong. I eat, sleep and breathe rugby’

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Nov 07

England’s Ben Youngs seeks overdue victory against bruising South Africa

• England have not beaten South Africa since 2006
• ‘Everyone knows the biggest thing they bring is physicality’

England are planning to give South Africa a taste of their own powerful medicine as they look to end a 10-year stretch without a win against the Springboks on Saturday. The home side are ready for a traditionally full-blooded encounter but the scrum-half Ben Youngs is predicting a happier ending for England supporters than this fixture has supplied in the past decade.

With 10 successive Test wins already behind them England believe the moment has come to bury their South African hoodoo and, with Courtney Lawes expected to be available for selection, are intent on making their presence felt physically from the outset. “The physicality element of the game is going to be key,” said Youngs, who has faced the Springboks five times without winning. “We have to make sure that, from the start, we dominate that area. We feel like the time is now to get rid of the last 10 years and get a win against them.”

Related: England’s Itoje, Farrell and Vunipola nominated for world player of year

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Nov 06

Barbarians cut a dash but callow South Africa gain little from Wembley draw

An inexperienced South Africa team were outplayed for much of their match against Barbarians and it is difficult to see what relevance their Wembley draw had for the challenge of facing England

Robbie Deans, the Barbarians coach, argued that South Africa would have had “no chance” against England this weekend without the “hit-out” provided by this match at Wembley. Certainly, every minute that international teams can spend together is precious, and minutes on the pitch all the more so. But, if South Africa stood no chance before, their prospects can hardly have been transformed by this curious, if entertaining, version of international rugby.

The way a young, unfamiliar side stayed in the match and recovered from a 12-point deficit with 10 minutes remaining to snatch a draw against an even more unfamiliar collection of Kiwis, South Africans and one runaway beast of an Aussie might have forged some esprit de corps. If anything, though, South Africa seemed to consider the result a failure.

Related: Pat Lambie misses late conversion in South Africa draw with Barbarians

Related: Eddie Jones puts England in right frame of mind to end Springbok wait

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Nov 06

Mike Brown: England are ‘building some sort of aura’ under Eddie Jones

While ‘being No1 in the world and winning World Cups’ is the aim, the full-back is focused on trying to beat South Africa for the first time since 2006 for now

England’s players say they want to make a statement to the rest of world rugby by remaining unbeaten for a full calendar year for the first time in 24 years. Four autumn victories will complete a perfect 100% haul of 12 wins under Eddie Jones in 2016 and extend the team’s victorious streak to 13 Tests in total.

Related: Wounded New Zealand face race to regroup for Ireland rematch in Dublin | Brendan Fanning

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Nov 05

Pat Lambie misses late conversion in South Africa draw with Barbarians

• Barbarians 31-31 South Africa
• Lambie blows chance to win match for Springboks

As draws go, this was of the riveting kind. Pat Lambie could not convert South Africa’s late try from the touchline, but it would have been a victory snatched by the young Springboks against a side who looked vastly the more talented. For all the pyrotechnics, the impression that South African rugby is in a desperate place was not alleviated by this. The Barbarians looked a million dollars, throwing the ball around in the finest tradition, but that a collection of Super Rugby players, most of them bubbling beneath their respective international teams, tore South Africa apart did not bode well for the rest of the autumn.

“It’s never easy to draw,” said Allister Coetzee, the Springbok coach. “We see it as a loss, really, but there were a lot of pleasing aspects to our game, particularly the fighting spirit our young team showed to come back.”

Related: Nicolás Sánchez leads rout with 29 points as Argentina thrash Japan

Related: Australia dispel rumours of demise with five-try demolition of Wales

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Nov 02

Andy Ellis to captain Barbarians in Killik Cup match against South Africa

• New Zealand scrum-half given Wembley honour
• Barbarians will also face Czech Republic and Fiji

The New Zealand scrum-half Andy Ellis will captain the Barbarians in the Killik Cup match against South Africa at Wembley on Saturday. Alongside the 2011 World Cup winner will be his compatriots Seta Tamanivalu and Luke Whitelock.

The Australia internationals Toby Smith, Sam Carter and Luke Morahan are among the invitational side’s replacements. Four South Africa-born players have been named in the team in Robert du Preez, Akker van der Merwe, Reggie Goodes and Martin Muller, while another, Ruan Ackermann, is on the bench.

Related: Will Greenwood to coach Barbarians against South Africa in November

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Oct 14

Schalk Burger: ‘South Africa’s future looks quite bleak’

Saracens’ flanker and holder of 86 caps says rugby authorities must become more proactive as young Springboks are increasingly tempted by bigger pay cheques overseas

They call it the European Champions Cup but who are they kidding? When Schalk Burger arrives at the Stade Felix Mayol on Saturday afternoon for Saracens’ Pool 3 duel with Toulon he could almost be back in the southern hemisphere again. Five capped South Africans – the home captain, Duane Vermeulen, plus Bryan Habana, Juan Smith, Juandré Kruger and Marcel van der Merwe are registered to play for Toulon in Europe this season. A total of 27 current or former Springboks – not counting those born in southern Africa who now represent other countries – are due to feature in Europe’s elite club tournament.

Super Rugby in disguise? At the last count there were more than 300 South African-reared players operating at various professional levels in Europe or Japan. All this at a time when Springbok rugby has never looked more fragile, the national team having shipped nine tries at home to New Zealand last Saturday. When Burger met up with Habana and co on the eve of Saturday’s contest, the subject could hardly be avoided. “It hurts all of us who have played there for a long time,” said Burger, whose 86-cap Test career ended at last year’s World Cup. “I’m not too sure what the future is going to hold. At this moment it looks quite bleak out there.”

Related: European cup rugby returns, with public appetite hopefully to follow | Robert Kitson

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Oct 09

The 1971 Springboks: ‘Coming between these blokes and their sport was the most dangerous thing I’ve done’

In this extract from his book Pitched Battle, Larry Writer details how Australia became a nation at war with itself when the apartheid-era all-white South African rugby team touredIn 1971, when the racially selected all-white South African rugby team t…

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Oct 08

New Zealand claim largest victory over South Africa in one-sided tie

• South Africa 15-57 New Zealand

New Zealand equalled their record of 17 test wins in a row as they claimed their biggest victory over old foes South Africa on Saturday, a crushing 57-15 triumph in the Rugby Championship at King’s Park in Durban.

The scrum-half TJ Perenara, in the side for the disgraced Aaron Smith, scored two tries. There were also doubles for the wing Israel Dagg and the fly-half Beauden Barrett and further scores from the replacement hooker Codie Taylor, the full-back Ben Smith and the flanker Liam Squire.

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