Youngs replaces Care at scrum-half as Lancaster makes six changes for Springboks game
10:59 GMT, 22 November 2012
Ben Youngs will start at scrum-half for England on Saturday after head coach Stuart Lancaster revealed six changes to his team to face South Africa.
Lancaster, as expected, swung his selection axe following the disappointment of the 14-20 defeat by the Wallabies last Saturday, but the decision to start Youngs ahead of Danny Care was unexpected.
Youngs, who will start an international alongside brother Tom for the first time, is joined by three other substitutes from last weekend in 21-year-old Wasps lock Joe Launchbury, who will be making his first start, flanker Tom Wood and Mike Brown, the Harlequins full-back.
Starting place: Ben Youngs will start for England at scrum half as Stuart Lancaster rings the changes ahead of South Africa game
First start: Joe Launchbury will make his first start for England against South Africa
Starting XV: Goode (Saracens); Ashton (Saracens), Tuilagi (Leicester), Barritt (Saracens), Brown (Harlequins); Flood (Leicester), Ben Youngs (Leicester); Corbisiero (London Irish), Tom Youngs (Leicester), Cole (Leicester), Launchbury (Wasps), Parling (Leicester), Wood (Northampton), Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), Morgan (Gloucester).
Subs: Paice (London Irish), Wilson (Bath), Vunipola (Saracens), Botha (Saracens), Haskell (Wasps), Care (Harlequins), Farrell (Saracens), Joseph (London Irish).
Brown is named on the wing for Gloucester’s Charlie Sharples, who was dropped from the squad on Tuesday along with two other starters from last weekend in Leicester No 8 Tom Waldrom and Exeter flanker Tom Johnson.
The other two changes are as expected in recalls for London Irish loose-head prop Alex Corbisero and Gloucester No 8 Ben Morgan. They replace the injured Harlequins prop Joe Marler and Waldrom respectively.
For Launchbury, the first start comes after an impressive performance as a substitute when replacing Wasps colleague Tom Palmer, who is omitted from the 23-man squad all together.
Taking his chance: Tom Wood came off the bench for England against Australia but will start against South Africa
He is being treated for a calf strain and his place on the bench goes to Saracens’ South African-born Mouritz Botha. Two other new names among the reserves are London Irish centre Jonathan Joseph and Wasps back row James Haskell.
Lancaster said: ‘There were some tight call, which is what you want as coaches, but the players we have brought into start have been training well, will bring a real motivation to make the most of their opportunity.’
ROB WILDMAN COMMENT:
All change! There's a hint of panic in an England selection which shows six changes from last week.
Who wants to be the holder of the left wing spot Mike Brown is the third incumbent following Ugo Monye and Charlie Sharples this autumn.
England have not cracked the midfield impasse. If Stuart Lancaster and his team of coaches had been really brave they would have stuck Manu Tuilagi on the left wing.
But that would have been admittance that Manu (he's a lovely, friendly lad) is failing at the top level to learn the art of passing.
Manu has only one direction and that's straight, a bit like the M1 coming out of Leicester.
It works two thirds of the time but against the very best it's easy to defend as the Wallabies showed.
Six changes is more than the Lancaster coaching book recommends, but putting my English Red Rose on it will hopefully do the trick.
But for England to win they will have to, in the words of my niece, 'for goodness sake, man up.'