England v South Africa: Brad Shields in as England drop Chris Robshaw


Shields has only just arrived from New Zealand but has forced his way into the team at the expense of former captain Robshaw
South Africa v England – second Test
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein Date: Saturday, 16 June Kick-off: 16:05 BST
Coverage: Live radio and text commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Flanker Brad Shields will make his first England start in Saturday’s second Test against South Africa in Bloemfontein, with Chris Robshaw dropped from the matchday squad.

New-Zealand born Shields, 27, was fast-tracked into the set-up by head coach Eddie Jones and made his debut off the bench in the first-Test defeat.

Danny Cipriani is a replacement, and is set for his first cap since 2015.

“It’s tough on Chris Robshaw, he’s been outstanding for us,” said Jones.

“But I know he will bounce back.

“Danny Cipriani will come onto the bench as we are looking for something a little bit different to finish the game, which he can bring.”

The other change sees lock Joe Launchbury return to the starting XV after recovering from a calf injury at the expense of Nick Isiekwe, who was replaced in the first half at Ellis Park and drops out of the 23.

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The selection of Shields for the tour of South Africa was a controversial one, with the Rugby Football Union having to negotiate his release from the New Zealand Rugby Union.

Shields qualifies for England through his parents, but represented New Zealand at under-20 level and was on the brink of winning an All Blacks cap last year.

He is still contracted to Super Rugby side Hurricanes, and will return to Wellington after the tour before his move to Wasps at the end of the year.

World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot has been among those to question the selection.

“Based on South Africa’s likely selection of an extra line-out jumper we have decided to to start with Brad Shields, which improves our line-out,” Jones said.

Robshaw has been a mainstay of Jones’ regime, but has been dropped for the first time under the Australian.

“Owen Farrell, with a number of the senior players, has really moulded the squad together,” Jones said.

“They are working hard to improve their game to make sure we win.”

England team to face South Africa: Elliot Daly (Wasps); Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins); George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers); Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Jamie George (Saracens), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Brad Shields (Hurricanes/Wasps), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Billy Vunipola (Saracens)

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Mark Wilson (Newcastle), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Ben Spencer (Saracens), Danny Cipriani (Wasps), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks)

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