England rugby team news: Eddie Jones names an unchanged side
Kyle Sinckler has won his race to be fit for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final in Yokohama with England naming an unchanged starting line-up.
The Harlequins prop left the field with a calf strain in the semifinal win over the All Blacks and has not been able to train fully this week. But he has recovered sufficiently for Eddie Jones to name him in his line-up to face South Africa.
It is the first time since March 2016 during his first Six Nations in charge that Jones has named an unchanged side for what will be his 50th Test as England head coach.
There is one change on the bench with Saracens’ Ben Spencer replacing the injured Willi Heinz.
“The players have been together a while now so it’s less about the volume of training this week, it’s more about sharpening the sword,” said Jones.
“South Africa are a really difficult opponent and we are going to have to fight really hard to win. We know the physical part of the game is going to be important and the players will go into this game well prepared knowing how we want to play.
“We will go and play with no fear.”
Jones is expecting a brutal route one clash with the Boks, who make one change with tricky wing Cheslin Kolbe returning after injury, naming six forwards on the bench.
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“South Africa will probably play a similar type of game they have played all tournament so we need to be good in the arm wrestle and when we have the opportunities to break the game up we are confident and composed enough to take them.”
The Boks will be led by their first black Test captain Siya Kolisi who will win his 50th cap.
“It’s a great achievement for Siya,” said South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus.
“Any Springbok captain carries a heavy load – probably doubly so in Siya’s case – and he has really risen to the occasion over the past two years.
“No one is hiding from the significance that would be attached to him lifting the trophy on behalf of this team and South Africa. But first and foremost on Saturday this is a rugby match that we’re only focused on winning.”
England: Daly: Watson, Tuilagi, Farrell (capt), May; Ford, Youngs; M Vunipola, George, Sinckler, Lawes, Itoje, Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola. Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Marler, Cole, Kruis, Wilson, Spencer, Slade, Joseph.
South Africa: le Roux; Kolbe, Am, de Allende, Mapimpi; Pollard, de Klerk; Mtawarira, Mbonambi, Malherbe, Etzebeth, de Jager, Kolisi (capt), du Toit, Vermeulen. Replacements: Marx, Kitshoff, Koch, Snyman, Mostert, Louw, Jantjies, Steyn.
Referee: Jerome Garces (France).