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Exeter 19 Northampton 30: Chiefs scalped as Saints go fourth

Exeter 19 Northampton 30: Chiefs scalped as Saints go fourth in Aviva Premiership

PUBLISHED:

17:58 GMT, 5 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:58 GMT, 5 January 2013

Northampton climbed to fourth place in the Aviva Premiership as they became the first side to beat Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park in the league this season.

Tries from Ken Pisi, Soane Tonga'uiha and Gerrit-Jan van Velze steered the visitors to victory, with Stephen Myler kicking three conversions and three penalties.

Kicking king: Stephen Myler booted three penalties

Kicking king: Stephen Myler booted three penalties

Exeter, who either side of Christmas narrowly lost at Gloucester and were then denied a home victory over Bath by a late converted penalty try, made just one change among their backs with Ian Whitten starting in the centre in place of Jason Shoemark. In the pack Ben Moon started at loosehead prop with Neil Clark at hooker.

Dean Mumm switched to the second row and was joined by James Hanks while Tom Johnson and Ben White made up the back row with skipper for the day Richard Baxter at number eight.

Breaking through: Saints' Phil Dowson barges past the Chiefs' defence

Breaking through: Saints' Phil Dowson barges past the Chiefs' defence

The Saints, who went into the game one point above Exeter, named an unchanged back division while Tonga'uiha came in at loosehead prop, Paul Doran Jones at tighthead, Mark Sorenson at lock and Calum Clark at blindside flanker.

Going down: Neil Clark of Exeter takes on the Saints' defence

Going down: Neil Clark of Exeter takes on the Saints' defence

Both sides committed unforced errors in the opening minutes but 10 minutes into the game full-back Luke Arscott found a gap on his 30-metre break and then passed outside to wing Matt Jess who was taken to ground just outside the Saints 22.

Exeter were rewarded for their possession advantage and when flanker Phil Dowson was penalised at the breakdown and fly-half Gareth Steenson drilled the penalty kick through the uprights to put the home side in front.

On the run: Dowson gets tackled by Whitten

On the run: Dowson gets tackled by Whitten

But Northampton hit back as Arscott's poor kick from deep was collected by fly-half Myler who put full-back Ben Foden away on the counter-attack and he slipped past his opposite number before offloading to wing Pisi.

The Samoan international jinked to
avoid centre Phil Dollman's try-saving tackle attempt to touch down
behind the posts. Myler added the simple extras and then added a
long-range penalty on the half hour.

The fly-half, who saw his next attempt hit the upright, then added a second penalty from out wide on the left.

Exeter
reduced the arrears as Steenson added a penalty after England hooker
Dylan Hartley was sent to the sin bin as his side led 13-6 at the break.

Exeter
started the second half looking to take advantage of the extra man
against a seven-man scrum which they wheeled, allowing Steenson to
reduce the deficit further with his third penalty.

Myler
cancelled that out with a 38-metre kick before Arscott was stopped
short, but the home side cut the arrears to four points with Steenson's
fourth penalty just before the Saints were restored to full strength
with Hartley back on the field.

Exeter
were then forced to defend their line and when the Saints were awarded a
penalty close to the line they opted to kick to touch.

From the line-out and resultant drive Tonga'uiha got the touchdown and Myler converted. The
Saints line was put under pressure, and with the referee playing
advantage replacement centre Sireli Naqelevuki powered over for a Chiefs
try which replacement fly-half Ignacio Mieres converted.

Under pressure: Exeter's Lee Dickson of kicks for touch as Hoani Tui charges down

Under pressure: Exeter's Lee Dickson of kicks for touch as Hoani Tui charges down

Northampton,
from another catch and drive, crossed for their third try after referee
Greg Garner referred the matter to TMO Geoff Warren, with number eight
Van Velze getting the touchdown and Myler adding the touchline
conversion.

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Stuart Lancaster believes Mako Vunipola is ready for England

He's fit not fat! Lancaster convinced Saracens prop Vunipola is ready for England

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 25 October 2012

Mako Vunipola is on course to make his Test debut against Fiji at Twickenham on November 10, and England are adamant he is fit for purpose as an international prop now a conditioning blitz has streamlined his 20st frame.

The 21-year-old Saracens loosehead was confirmed as an addition to the squad for the forthcoming QBE Internationals.

Now that Tests will feature eight replacements per team, in line with the club game, all four props are destined to appear in each match, which means Vunipola is not just in the senior ranks to gain experience.

Fit for purpose: Mako Vunipola (centre) has slimmed down and has been deemed ready to face Fiji for England

Fit for purpose: Mako Vunipola (centre) has slimmed down and has been deemed ready to face Fiji for England

New boy: Saracens prop Vunipola is a bold selection by Stuart Lancaster

New boy: Saracens prop Vunipola is a bold selection by Stuart Lancaster

England squad

A Allen (Leicester), C Ashton (Saracens), B Barritt (Saracens), M Botha (Saracens), M Brown (Harlequins), D Care (Harlequins), D Cole (Leicester), L Dickson (Northampton), P Dowson (Northampton), O Farrell (Saracens), T Flood (Leicester), A Goode (Saracens), D Hartley (Northampton), J Haskell (Wasps),T Johnson (Exeter), J Joseph (London Irish), C Lawes (Northampton), J Marler (Harlequins), U Monye (Harlequins), B Morgan (Gloucester), T Palmer (Wasps), G Parling (Leicester), C Robshaw (Harlequins), C Sharples (Gloucester), M Tuilagi (Leicester), J Turner-Hall (Harlequins), M Vunipola (Saracens), T Waldrom (Leicester), D Wilson (Bath), T Wood (Northampton), B Youngs (Leicester), T Youngs (Leicester).

A debut against Pacific island
opposition would be fitting for the son of a former Tonga captain and
England are convinced that, after only five senior starts for Saracens,
this exciting prospect is ready to step up.

Their conviction is based on a summer spent honing a physique which had been somewhat soft round the edges.

'He's got himself a lot fitter and that is evident from looking at him,' said England forwards coach Graham Rowntree.

'He had an unfortunate season with injuries but he's got very fit over the summer with Saracens' conditioning set-up.

'Now he's taken his chance and kept
hold of that shirt. /10/25/article-0-0CB5E02600000578-167_468x441.jpg” width=”468″ height=”441″ alt=”Streamlined: Vunipola, pictured last year, has worked hard to change his physique” class=”blkBorder” />

Streamlined: Vunipola, pictured last year, has worked hard to change his physique

'I have no doubt he will make his
name in this autumn series,' he said. 'I have every confidence in him. I
am looking for a fault in his game and I can't find one.

'His form has been exceptional. I like his commitment to every aspect of the game.

'He is a dynamic ball-carrier and he
loves a scrum. He respects all the hard yards, the tackling, the
clearing out, the scrummaging.

'There's a step up from Heineken Cup
rugby to Test rugby but I have every confidence that if he has to go on
in the 52nd minute or the second minute, he'll do a great job.

'He has played in some big games this season. He got a good workout at the weekend against a big French pack.

'He has played at tighthead in our age-grade teams but we see him as a loosehead.

Back in the fold: James Haskell (top) and Ugo Monye (bottom) have fought their way back in to the England squad for the Autumn internationals

Back in the fold: James Haskell (top) and Ugo Monye (bottom) have fought their way back in to the England squad for the Autumn internationals

Back in the fold: James Haskell (top) and Ugo Monye (bottom) have fought their way back in to the England squad for the Autumn internationals

'I feel for Matt Mullan and Nathan
Catt because they are not doing much wrong. They are playing well but
Mako is just doing a bit more in terms of his all-round game and we just
can't ignore that form.'

Mako's father, Fe'ao Vunipola, won 32 caps for Tonga and represented the island nation at the 1995 and 1999 World Cups.

Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Mako and his family moved to Wales in 1998 when Fe'ao took up a contract at Pontypool.

He initially went to school in
Newport but wound up attending Millfield School, a few years after
England captain Chris Robshaw. Mako's brother Billy is a No 8 at Wasps.

As reported earlier this week by Sportsmail,
the other enforced changes to the England squad were recalls from the
Saxons for James Haskell and Ugo Monye, along with Ben Youngs' brother
Tom, the Leicester hooker.

Enlarge

The new boys

The new boys

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London Irish 39 Northampton 17: Joseph inspired as leaders lose unbeaten record

London Irish 39 Northampton 17: Joseph inspired as leaders lose unbeaten record

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UPDATED:

16:37 GMT, 6 October 2012


Unstoppable: Jonathan Joseph was inspired

Unstoppable: Jonathan Joseph was inspired

Jonathan Joseph inspired the biggest upset of the Aviva Premiership season as London Irish destroyed Northampton's unbeaten record at the Madejski Stadium.

The England centre touched down for the opening try and he played a key role in scores by David Paice and Topsy Ojo as London Irish turned the Premiership table on its head.

Jamie Gibson wrapped up the Exiles' first bonus point of the season with their fourth try to cap another outstanding individual display.

/10/06/article-0-1561605A000005DC-306_634x385.jpg” width=”634″ height=”385″ alt=”Stopped in his tracks: Topsy Ojo is tackled by Phil Dowson” class=”blkBorder” />

Stopped in his tracks: Topsy Ojo is tackled by Phil Dowson

London Irish snaffled an overthrown Northampton lineout and moved the ball wide for Joseph to stab a grubber kick through for Marlande Yarde to kick on.

Vasily Artemyev, Northampton's stand-in full-back, failed to cover the bouncing ball and Joseph followed up to score his second try of the season.

London Irish were unrelenting for the rest of the half. Prop Halani Aulika was stopped just before the line and number eight held up over it as Ofisa Treviranus hammered away at the line.

Shingler extended the Exiles' lead with a penalty before Joseph hit the line at blistering pace inside the Northampton 22 and, two phases later, Paice twisted over the line to score.

Ian Humphreys' 40-metre drop-goal handed London Irish an 18-0 lead at half-time. Northampton had to respond and they showed early intent after the restart with a penalty from Myler.

A brilliant run from Pisi had London Irish on the back foot and Myler almost worked an opening for Noah Cato but they could not find a way through.

Free run: Marland Yarde of Irish gets away from Dominick Waldouck

Free run: Marland Yarde of Irish gets away from Dominick Waldouck

And London Irish then hit Northampton with a brilliant third try, finished by Ojo but created by Joseph as the Exiles attacked from clean lineout ball.

Joseph beat Myler for pace and then drew two defenders before slipping a delightful pass to Ojo, who was tackled by Pisi but had the momentum to roll over the line and score.

Shingler edged the Exiles further ahead with a penalty after a powerful driving maul before captain Bryn Evans came within inches of scoring the fourth try after collecting a one-handed pass from Joseph.

But the Exiles did not have to wait long. From a quick lineout, Shingler swung a long pass to Treviranus, who held off two defenders and sent Gibson racing away for the try.

Northampton, to their credit, kept plugging away with scrum-half Lee Dickson particularly lively, and they worked a try for Pisi in the right corner.

Dowson burrowed over a second Northampton try but Shingler added two more late penalties as London Irish rounded off their best performance of the season with a memorable victory.

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Northampton 37 Worcester 31: Fightback falls short as hosts stay unbeaten

Northampton 37 Worcester 31: Fightback falls short as hosts stay unbeaten

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UPDATED:

16:49 GMT, 22 September 2012

Two tries from Luther Burrell saw
Northampton power to four wins out of four, but Worcester stormed back
to collect two points with four tries in a barely believable last 16
minutes.

Tries from Vasily Artemyev, Courtney Lawes and Mike Haywood saw Northampton secure the five points with less than an hour gone.

They then took their foot off the gas as Worcester ran in four tries in the final quarter to grab a very unlikely losing bonus.

Saints alive: Luther Burrell breaks through to score a second try

Saints alive: Luther Burrell breaks through to score a second try

Match facts

NORTHAMPTON: Tonga'uiha, Hartley, Doran-Jones, Manoa, Day, Lawes, Dowson, Oakley, Dickinson, Myler, Artemiev, Burrell, G Pisi, K Pisi, Wilson. Replacements: Haywood, Waller, Mujati, Sorenson, Wood, Glynn, Lamb, Waldouck.

Tries: Burrell 19, 24, Artemiev 30, Lawes 49, Haywood 60.

Conversions: Myler 19, 24, 49

Penalties: Myler 6, 11

WORCESTER: Mullan, Lutui, Andress, Percival, Schofield, Chris, Betty, Taulava, Perry, Goode, Lemi, Carlisle, Grove, Walker, Pennell. Replacements: Hayes, Jonesd, Currie, Gilles, Kvesic, Arr, Matavesi, Drauniniu.

Tries: Arr 64, Matavesi 66, Drauninui 74, Hayes 79.

Conversions: Goode 64, 66, 74, 79

Penalties: Goode 4

Att: 12,114

The home side showed their forward power in the maul early on, driving a penalty out of Worcester's pack and then stopping the Warriors' own effort at a lineout drive on their line.

Stephen Myler landed that penalty after Andy Goode had opened the scoring with three points on four minutes, and the Saints fly-half added a second penalty before Burrell opened the try-scoring with two in four minutes.

He had already shown some neat footwork before his first try on 20 minutes when he blitzed round the outside of flanker Chris Jones to run home from 25 metres.

His third in two home games saw Burrell step around the outside of centre Alex Grove.

Northampton's
best try was yet to come. Number eight Rhys Oakley broke off a scrum on
halfway and offloaded to Phil Dowson, who delivered a beautiful reverse
pass for Artemyev to finish off from 20 metres.

Twice
Worcester turned down the chance of three points to go for five, but
their handling was a constant let down and they went into the break 25-3
down.

Goode life: Worcester's Andy Goode sets a move flowing

Goode life: Worcester's Andy Goode sets a move flowing

Northampton wrapped up the bonus point nine minutes into the second half with Lawes, starting his first game since February 18, being sent over by the irrepressible Lee Dickson.

Burrell missed out on a hat-trick
when he decided to cut inside and slipped with the line at his mercy
before Ken Pisi dropped the ball on the line.

However, replacement hooker Mike Haywood eventually burrowed over for the fifth.

Catch me if you can: James Wilson on the run from the Warriors' defence

Catch me if you can: James Wilson on the run from the Warriors' defence

Myler missed a second conversion before being replaced as Northampton emptied their bench and their heads, with Ryan Lamb particularly poor.

Worcester took advantage of the home side switching off to run in two tries in two minutes from Jonny Arr and Josh Matavesi.

Arr attack warning: Worcester's Jonny Arr passes the ball from the scrum

Arr attack warning: Worcester's Jonny Arr passes the ball from the scrum

The Worcester bench had a huge impact, scoring all four tries with Josh Drauniniu sweeping over and then James Currie winning a crucial turnover for the Warriors to storm up field, win a penalty and see Ollie Hayes squirm over from the lineout.

More drama followed with Goode allowed to retake his missed conversion because Northampton charged too early and he landed it second time round to secure a losing bonus point with the last kick of the game.

As Worcester celebrated wildly it was hard to tell who had won.

South Africa 14 England 14: Lancaster"s young team finish tour on a high

South Africa 14 England 14: Lancaster's young troops finish tour on a high

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UPDATED:

20:06 GMT, 23 June 2012

England will see parity with South Africa as just reward after a tour that may lack Test match wins
but not character for a squad still so young and inexperienced.

Owen Farrell’s 72nd-minute penalty means that England avoided a 10th successive defeat by South
Africa, and although a draw ultimately frustrated both teams, Stuart Lancaster’s players return home with evidence of a depth of talent below their first XV.

Danny joy: Care dives over

Danny joy: Care dives over

MATCH FACTS

South Africa: Habana; Steyn, Hougaard (Pienaar 50min); Mtawarira, B du Plessis (A Strauss 62), J du Plessis (Kruger 75), Etzebeth, Kruger, Coetzee, Potgieter, Spies. Substitutes (not used): Van der Merwe, Kankowski, Basson, Jantjies.

England: Goode; Ashton, Joseph (Barritt 65), Tuilagi, Foden; Flood (Farrell 27), Care; Marler, Hartley, Cole, Palmer (Botha 65), Parling, Johnson (Dowson 65), Haskell,
Waldrom.
Substitutes (not used): Mears, Doran Jones, Dickson, Barritt.

Referee: S Walsh (ARU).

They went to Port Elizabeth looking
to avoid a 3-0 series whitewash but the odds were stacked against them
after a string of changes forced by injury or an untimely loss of form.

Most interestingly, Danny Care replaced Ben Youngs after a season that began with injury ruling him
out of the World Cup and then a series of alcohol-related incidents that
saw him thrown out of Lancaster’s Six Nations squad. His form for
Harlequins and in the midweek matches here earned him a further shot at
redemption.

The 25-year-old scrum-half gratefully took his chances, scoring a neat first-half try from a quick
tapped penalty and marshalling his side superbly.

He said: ‘We defended really well and
stopped a couple of near-certain tries. Of course we’d have preferred a
win but, overall, it’s been a fantastic series against an excellent
Springbok side.’

Catch up: Juandre Kruger (right) and Gio Aplon attempt to get hold of the loose ball

Catch up: Juandre Kruger (right) and Gio Aplon attempt to get hold of the loose ball

Foot forward: Francois Hougaard of South Africa kicks the ball upfield

Foot forward: Francois Hougaard of South Africa kicks the ball upfield

Up in the air: England's James Haskell tries to catch the ball

Up in the air: England's James Haskell tries to catch the ball

South Africa had made three changes,
with the impressive Willem Alberts and Pat Lambie injured while Frans
Steyn chose this day to get married. But this was nothing compared with
England, who had lost their effective captain Chris Robshaw, double try
scorer from last week’s defeat in Johannesburg Youngs, and winger David
Strettle to injury, and then dropping No 8 Ben Morgan and lock Mouritz
Botha.

It meant that Alex Goode would make his first start at full-back and Thomas Waldrom his first at No 8,
while James Haskell’s appearance would be his first in England colours
since appearing from the bench during England’s World Cup quarter-final
defeat by France last October.

South Africa v England Third Test ratings

After last week’s shocking start at Ellis Park, where England conceded three tries in the opening 18
minutes, England had to quell early Springbok fire. They did better than
that, winning an impressive first scrum and when Pierre Spies, winning
his 50th cap for South Africa, was penalised, England’s Toby Flood,
another winning his 50th cap, slotted home the second-minute penalty.

He missed a further chance two
minutes later although seemed affected by an injury, and when Steyn
found the target with a seventh-minute penalty after an England offside
it was all square.

Pile up: South Africa's Tendai Mtawarira, center, with teammate Eben Etzebeth, right, tackled by England's James Haskell, left,

Pile up: South Africa's Tendai Mtawarira, center, with teammate Eben Etzebeth, right, tackled by England's James Haskell, left,

On the run: South Africa's captain Jean de Villiers, centre, attacks against England defence

On the run: South Africa's captain Jean de Villiers, centre, attacks against England defence

In your face: South Africa's Jacques Potgieter, left, takes on Owen Farrell, right,

In your face: South Africa's Jacques Potgieter, left, takes on Owen Farrell, right,

Hold on: England's Alex Goode (R) tackles South Africa's Gio Aplon

Hold on: England's Alex Goode (R) tackles South Africa's Gio Aplon

England roared back after Tom Palmer, in for Botha, palmed down Steyn’s attempted clearance and,
from a penalty, Care took the decision to take a quick tap. He had options outside him but put his
head down and drove through two South African defenders to score. The
12th-minute try was confirmation that his troubles seem to be behind
him.

Flood missed the conversion and
hobbled off to be replaced by Owen Farrell before a Steyn penalty cut
England’s lead to two points.

Farrell had the chance to kick three
points but, in worsening conditions, decided instead to kick for the
corner in a move that came to nothing. A further grub kick and chip also
failed to work as South Africa got more into it in the swirling Eastern
Cape rain, and it was no surprise when a 28th-minute Steyn penalty gave
them the lead.

Farrell’s eventful night continued
when he left the field briefly, pointing angrily at some Boks with the
back of his head covered in blood. It also prompted captain Dylan
Hartley, leading the side in Robshaw’s absence, to complain to referee
Steve Walsh. England were clinging on but managed
to keep the deficit to a single point at the break.

England's Thomas Waldrom

Toby Flood of England limps off the field

Joy and pain: Thomas Waldrom (left) impressed but Toby Flood (right) limped off

Big men: James Haskell of England is tackled by Jean de Villiers

Big men: James Haskell of England is tackled by Jean de Villiers

Within five minutes of the restart
England were back in front after Chris Ashton’s huge hit on Gio Aplon
gave Farrell the chance to stroke home the resulting penalty.

Despite England’s lead, the momentum
remained with the Springboks, especially when Hartley was sinbinned for
killing the ball in the 50th minute.

An out-of-sorts Steyn missed the
penalty but England, minus their hooker and captain, turned to prop Joe
Marler to throw in the lineouts until Lee Mears appeared from the bench,
Manu Tuilagi to act as openside with Tom Johnson off and Palmer to lead
his country.

England rugby fan

South Africa's rugby fan

Incredibly, England survived the
10-minute period with 14 men without conceding, but within moments of
Hartley’s return JP Pietersen touched down in the corner after Johnson’s
gamble to come out of
defence failed. Steyn missed the conversion.

England were not finished, though. With eight minutes remaining a Farrell penalty drew the scores
level and this time they managed to hold on, but not before Steyn’s 75th minute drop-goal attempt drifted wide.

Farrell even had a slim chance of a long-range drop-goal in the dying seconds, too, but he scuffed
it wide.

South v England Third Test ratings

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LIVE: South Africa v England rugby – Third Test in Port Elizabeth

LIVE: South Africa v England – All the action from the final Test in Port Elizabeth

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UPDATED:

15:12 GMT, 23 June 2012

SOUTH AFRICA 3 ENGLAND 3

South Africa: Aplon, Pietersen, de Villiers, Olivier, Habana, M. Steyn, Hougaard, Mtawarira, B. du Plessis, J. du Plessis, Etzebeth, J. Kruger, Coetzee, Potgieter, Spies.
Replacements: Strauss, W. Kruger, van der Merwe, Kankowski, Pienaar, Jantjies, Basson.

England: Goode, Ashton, Joseph, Tuilagi, Foden, Flood, Care, Marler, Hartley, Cole, Palmer, Parling, Johnson, Haskell, Waldrom.
Replacements: Mears, Doran-Jones, Botha, Dowson, L. Dickson,
Farrell, Barritt.

Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)

16.10: SOUTH AFRICA 3 ENGLAND 3

England are penalised, and Morne Steyn makes them pay with a fine penalty.

16.08: A poor penalty from Flood this time. It is from some distance, but both direction and strength are below par.

16.06: England are really taking it to the Springboks here. This is how it needs to be from Stuart Lancaster's men, they must try to unsettle the hosts.

16.04: SOUTH AFRICA 0 ENGLAND 3

Toby Flood is in front of the posts, and he makes no mistake. England claim an early lead.

16.03: Some nice early play from England, Care and Tuilagi are involved in a decent move, and they are awarded an early penalty.

16.02: We're under way, so we are. England kick off as they bid to end the series on a high.

16.00: The anthems are sung with gusto. Goodness, this is bringing back personal memories for me of being at the football World Cup in South Africa two years ago. Where does the time go Where, I ask you We're almost ready to get going here folks.

15.57: The hosts now make their entrance too, and we have a brief silence in memory of the former South African Test player Dolf Bekker, who died this week.

15.55: The England team make their entrance into this quite magnificent stadium.

15.50: South Africa have taken this series by storm, and are 2-0 up in this series. What price a whitewash

15.45: What a year it has been for English rugby. This is how rugby correspondent Chris Foy summed it up.

There have been 16 Tests, two
coaching regimes, several retirements, resignations and dismissals, one
damaging, prolonged period of blood-letting and in-fighting, belated
apologies, botched recruitment operations, famous victories and dire
defeats.

This has been the season when
England’s rugby team veered into soap-opera territory for a time, with
dwarf-tossing, bungee-jumping, heavy-drinking, ferry-leaping
controversies. Then came the clean-up process, overseen by Lancaster as
the interim head coach who became a permanent one.

15.40: I've just seen the teams. Let me share them with you. No, I insist.

South Africa: Aplon, Pietersen, de Villiers, Olivier, Habana, M. Steyn, Hougaard, Mtawarira, B. du Plessis, J. du Plessis, Etzebeth, J. Kruger, Coetzee, Potgieter, Spies.
Replacements: Strauss, W. Kruger, van der Merwe, Kankowski, Pienaar, Jantjies, Basson.

England: Goode, Ashton, Joseph, Tuilagi, Foden, Flood, Care, Marler, Hartley, Cole, Palmer, Parling, Johnson, Haskell, Waldrom.
Replacements: Mears, Doran-Jones, Botha, Dowson, L. Dickson,
Farrell, Barritt.

Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)

15.30: Good day, good day. With all the sport going around, I'm almost losing track. But amid all the Euro 2012, Wimbledon and Olympics hoopla here is some more rugger for you. It's the final Test of England's long year.

Getting ready: Graham Rowntree keeps an eye on the England scrum during training on Friday

Getting ready: Graham Rowntree keeps an eye on the England scrum during training on Friday

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England prop Alex Corbisiero ruled out for third South Africa Test with knee injury

Marler drafted in for final Test after Corbisiero is struck down by knee injury

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UPDATED:

09:16 GMT, 22 June 2012

England have been forced into a change for this weekend's third Test against South Africa after prop Alex Corbisiero suffered a recurrence of a knee injury.

Corbisiero had been expected to return to the starting line-up after missing the first Test and coming off the bench in the second.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster has announced the London Irish forward will be replaced in the side for the final game against the Springboks by Harlequins' Joe Marler.

Ruled out: Alex Corbisiero has suffered a recurrence of a knee injury

Ruled out: Alex Corbisiero has suffered a recurrence of a knee injury

ENGLAND TEAM v SOUTH AFRICA

A Goode (Saracens); C Ashton (Northampton), J Joseph (London Irish), M Tuilagi (Leicester), B Foden (Northampton); T Flood (Leicester), D Care (Harlequins); J Marler (Harlequins), D Hartley (Northampton, capt), D Cole (Leicester), T Palmer (Stade Francais), G Parling (Leicester), T Johnson (Exeter), J Haskell (Otago Highlanders), T Waldrom (Leicester).

Replacements: L Mears (Bath), , M Botha (Saracens), P Dowson (Northampton), L Dickson (Northampton), O Farrell (Saracens), B Barritt (Saracens).

Corbisiero, 23, established himself as first-choice loosehead during this year's RBS 6 Nations Championship but then missed the end of the domestic season after a biceps operation.

He was fit enough to join the England squad for the South Africa tour but jarred his knee in training soon after arrival in the country.

His place for the first Test in Durban went to Marler and the Quins forward retained the starting spot in Johannesburg last week.

Incoming: Joe Marler will start in Port Elizabeth for England

Incoming: Joe Marler will start in Port Elizabeth for England

Corbisiero was set to return in Port Elizabeth as Lancaster initially named a team featuring six changes but 21-year-old Marler, who was perhaps unlucky to be dropped, will now be retained.

England are looking to claim a consolation victory at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium after defeats in the first two matches.

Lancaster said: 'Alex trained well early in the week having played well at the weekend but the knee reacted over the last 24 hours.

'It is a shame for Alex as he was desperate to take part but it's the right thing to put in Joe and we are sure he can build on his performances in the first two Tests.'

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Danny Care and James Haskell recalled to England team

Lancaster recalls Care and Haskell for series finale against South Africa

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UPDATED:

08:40 GMT, 21 June 2012

Danny Care and James Haskell will make their long-awaited international returns in England's third Test against South Africa on Saturday.

The pair were both included as head coach Stuart Lancaster named a team containing six personnel changes for the clash at Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Scrum-half Care was dropped earlier this year following a series of off-field incidents, while flanker Haskell has not played since the World Cup last autumn after opting to play domestic rugby in Japan and New Zealand.

Care and attention: The scrum-half has been recalled to the England team

Care and attention: The scrum-half has been recalled to the England team

England team to play South Africa

A Goode (Saracens); C Ashton (Northampton), J Joseph (London Irish), M Tuilagi (Leicester), B Foden (Northampton); T Flood (Leicester), D Care (Harlequins); A Corbisiero (London Irish), D Hartley (Northampton, capt), D Cole (Leicester), T Palmer (Stade Francais), G Parling (Leicester), T Johnson (Exeter), J Haskell (Otago Highlanders), T Waldrom (Leicester).

Replacements: L Mears (Bath), J Marler (Harlequins), M Botha (Saracens), P Dowson (Northampton), L Dickson (Northampton), O Farrell (Saracens), B Barritt (Saracens).

Prop Alex Corbisiero and lock Tom
Palmer also return, while No 8 Thomas Waldrom and full-back Alex Goode
come in for their first full caps.

Care has been preferred to Lee Dickson, who is on the bench, after injury to Ben Youngs necessitated a change at scrum-half.

The 25-year-old Harlequins half-back
impressed on his one previous outing on the tour against the Southern
Barbarians in Kimberley last week. Haskell's opportunity has arisen
after influential captain Chris Robshaw was forced out of the match with
a broken thumb.

Return: Haskell hasn't played since the World Cup

Return: Haskell hasn't played since the World Cup

He will take the openside role with
Palmer coming in for Mouritz Botha. Waldrom replaces Ben Morgan at the
back of the scrum while Corbisiero, now fully recovered from a biceps
operation and a knee injury, takes over from Joe Marler at loosehead.

Goode's elevation to the team sees Ben Foden switch back to the wing from full-back with David Strettle dropping out.

Lancaster said: 'I am really pleased
for Alex. He has worked hard in training and has been pushing Mike
Brown and Ben Foden close so we are looking forward to him bringing his
footballing skills to this Test.

'Danny Care, likewise, has bided his
time in a very competitive position, knuckled down and deserves his
chance, as has James Haskell, who has played this season for the
Highlanders at No 7.

'We felt that the pack got some
momentum in the second half last week so we have gone for Alex and Tom
but I am sure Joe Marler and Mo Botha can make an impact from the
bench.'

Centre Brad Barritt, who needed
stitches in a cut eyeball after the first Test, returns on the bench.
England are looking for a consolation win after defeats in the first two
Tests in Durban and Johannesburg.

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South Africa v England, Johannesburg, live

LIVE: South Africa v England: Follow the second Test in Johannesburg as it happens

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UPDATED:

15:07 GMT, 16 June 2012

Follow the action as England battle to level the three-Test series with South Africa at the Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg. England head coach Stuart Lancaster has rung the changes for this make or break match with the Springboks who lead the series 1-0. Email tom.bellwood@dailymail.co.uk with your thoughts.

South Africa v England – essentials

ENGLAND: B Foden; C Ashton, J Joseph, M Tuilagi, D Strettle; T Flood, B Youngs; J Marler, D Hartley, D Cole; M Botha, G Parling (Leicester); T Johnson (Exeter), B Morgan, C Robshaw (capt).

Subs: L Mears, A Corbisiero, T Palmer, P Dowson, L Dickson, O Farrell, A Goode.

SOUTH AFRICA: P Lambie; J P Pietersen, J de Villiers (capt), F Steyn, B Habana; M Steyn, D Hougaard; T Mtawarira, B du Plessis, J du Plessis, E Etzebeth, J Kruger, M Coetzee, W Alberts, P Spies.

Replacements : A Strauss, W Kruger, F van der Merwe, K Daniel, R Pienaar, B Basson, W Olivier.

3min: It's like a repeat of the first match. South Africa dominating possession, England defending for their lives in and around their 22 metre line. Bryan Habana finds the gap down the right, but he's pulled down just shy of the try line. A resulting knock on allows the Red Rose the chance to clear their lines. Ominous signs.

KICK-OFF: Here we go… South Africa get the game under way.

3.58: Chest out, chin up, lungs full… time for the anthems. Go!

3.52: England come ambling out… but the Springboks keep then waiting for a few moments. Mind games at work already early int his conflict as the hosts leave the visitors to stalk a highly partisan Ellis park on their own.

3.50: The players are in their final huddles in the changing rooms before they come out. Chris Robshaw sharing a few words with his players. There hasn't been a Test ojn this ground in three years what with one thing and another. No surprise then that every single one of the 62,567 have been sold.

3.46: And a brief mention goes top the fact that the match is being played at altitude this afternoon, making the task that much more difficult.

3.40: So many positives from Stuart Lancaster's short reign at the helm with England. But this would be the greatest moment, surely. But history is against him. England haven't savoured victory on South African turf since 2000.

3.30pm: Afternoon everyone and welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of the second Test between South Africa and England from the Coca-Cola Park… Ellis Park in old money.

The die has been cast earlier this morning as two Northern Hemisphere nations – Wales and Ireland – have suffered agonising last kick defeats to Southern Hemisphere foes Australia and New Zealand respectively.

Stuart Lancaster's side will lose the series if they are defeated again following their reversal in Durban last weekend. But they have much to do.

The 22-17 scoreline suggests a close run thing. But it never was. Only some sterling defending and late scores made it a respectable return against the Springboks and thusly Lancaster has rung the changes.

Owen Farrell's omissions made the biggest headline as the England head coach brings in Toby Flood to increase the amount of passing in the midfield.

The ground is starting to fill up nicely in anticipation of this crunch clash. I'll bring you all the action as it happens and you can fire your thoughts on the play via my email address above. Thanks.

Revenge: England need to win at Ellis Park to level the series after defeat in Durban

Revenge: England need to win at Ellis Park to level the series after defeat in Durban

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Phil Dowson hamstring injury forces Second Test pull out

Waldrom replaces Dowson for England's second South Africa Test after hamstring injury

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UPDATED:

10:13 GMT, 15 June 2012

Northampton forward Phil Dowson has been forced to pull out of England's second Test against South Africa with a hamstring injury.

The back rower, who had been named on the bench for the clash in Johannesburg, suffered the injury in training and withdrew after assessment on Thursday night.

His place in the squad will be taken by Leicester's Thomas Waldrom, who scored two tries and was named man of the match in the midweek win over the Southern Barbarians in Kimberley.

Got ya: Jordan Turner-Hall is held back by Phil Dowson during England training

Got ya: Jordan Turner-Hall is held back by Phil Dowson during England training

The 29-year-old will now have the chance to earn his first cap as England seek to level the three-match series against the Springboks at Coca-Cola Park.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster used all seven of his replacements during the first Test loss in Durban, with Dowson coming on as a 62nd-minute replacement for number eight Ben Morgan.

The news is the latest fitness blow for England, who have lost full-back Mike Brown for the rest of the series with a thumb injury.

Centre Brad Barritt is out of the second Test after surgery on a lacerated eyeball while winger Ugo Monye has missed out on a possible recall this week because of a tight hamstring.