Tag Archives: touring

Tommy Bowe injury blow for Ireland Six Nations campaign

Bowe major doubt for Ireland's Six Nations campaign after damaging knee ligaments

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UPDATED:

16:35 GMT, 16 December 2012

Tommy Bowe is a major fitness doubt for Ireland's RBS 6 Nations campaign this season.

The Ulster wing suffered what his province have described as 'significant lateral ligament damage' to his right knee during Friday night's Heineken Cup home defeat against Northampton.

Bowe was carried off late in the second half at Ravenhill following a lengthy stoppage, and Ulster supporters chanted his name as he was taken away.

Crocked: Bowe is stretchered off at Ravenhill on Saturday

Crocked: Bowe is stretchered off at Ravenhill on Saturday

In a statement issued on Sunday, Ulster said: 'An initial scan this morning revealed that he has sustained significant lateral ligament damage to his right knee.

'He will undergo surgery later this week to repair the damage.

'At this stage, it is not possible to put a timescale on how long his recovery period will be.

'A further update on this will be issued following the surgery, when the full extent of the injury will be known.'

Ireland kick off this season's Six Nations tournament against defending champion Wales in Cardiff on February 2.

Star man: Bowe is a key member of the Ireland team

Star man: Bowe is a key member of the Ireland team

Bowe, whose prospects of touring Australia with the British and Irish Lions could conceivably be jeopardised by his current injury, is an integral part of Ireland coach Declan Kidney's plans.

The 28-year-old former Ospreys player has scored 26 tries in 51 Tests, and he is rated among the deadliest finishers in European rugby.

He started all three Tests for the 2009 Lions in South Africa, the final Test at outside centre when the Lions won in Johannesburg.

Ireland's season has been badly-affected by injuries, with Brian O'Driscoll, Paul O'Connell, Rory Best, Stephen Ferris and Sean O'Brien all missing the entire autumn series last month.

Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher at Race of Champions

Vettel and Schumacher aiming for sixth German success at Race of Champions

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UPDATED:

14:36 GMT, 15 December 2012

Sebastian Vettel hopes to add the Race of Champions title to his Formula One drivers' championship trophy when he partners Michael Schumacher in Bangkok.

The German duo are chasing a sixth consecutive victory in the race but face tough competition from around the world.

David Coulthard teams up with touring car driver Andy Priaulx for Great Britain.

Flying the flat: Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel at the Race of Champions opening ceremony

Flying the flat: Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel at the Race of Champions opening ceremony

'We are always excited to come to the Race Of Champions as it’s always a highlight for us at the end of the year,' Schumacher said.

'We’re happy to be over here in Bangkok this time and we’re very much looking forward to showing what we can do down on the track later on.

'Clearly what Sebastian and I are here to do is to take our sixth ROC Nations Cup win. There is tough competition around us tonight so it will be a big challenge.'

Eyes on the prize: Schumacher and Vettel are going for a sixth successive win

Eyes on the prize: Schumacher and Vettel are going for a sixth successive win

Eyes on the prize: Schumacher and Vettel are going for a sixth successive win

Vettel, who won the Formula One title in the final race in Brazil said: 'What’s
special about the Race Of Champions is that it’s a good challenge with
the different cars and it’s a great opportunity to meet drivers from
different categories.

'I’ve been coming back with Michael
for a few years now and all the drivers enjoy this event. It’s very
relaxed – you can compete against each other and then grab a drink after
the race and have some fun.

'There are a tough set of competitors
around and it’s always hard to predict what will happen. We will work as
a team to try and win the ROC Nations Cup for Team Germany again.'

Bit steep that one: Schumacher retired from Formula One for a second time recently

Bit steep that one: Schumacher retired from Formula One for a second time recently

Brit special: David Coulthard (left) and Andy Priaulx have teamed up

Brit special: David Coulthard (left) and Andy Priaulx have teamed up

India v England: Five other tours of triumph

Five other tours of triumph that England are hoping to emulate in Nagpur

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UPDATED:

22:33 GMT, 9 December 2012

Alastair Cook's men are on the brink of an historic series success in India. Now they must hope they finish the job in Nagpur and move alongside these famous England touring teams who thrived on foreign soil…

4-1 v Australia, 1932-33

Not everyone approved of the tactics, but England’s Bodyline Ashes win remains their most memorable in Test history.

Under the uncompromising leadership of Douglas Jardine, Nottinghamshire fast bowler Harold Larwood restricted Don Bradman to a series average of ‘only’ 56.

3-1 v Australia, 2010-11

Andrew Strauss led England to their first victory in Australia for 24 years, thanks to three crushing innings wins at Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. Cook made an astonishing 766 runs.

Wizards of Oz: England celebrate with the Barmy Army at the SCG in 2011

Wizards of Oz: England celebrate with the Barmy Army at the SCG in 2011

2-1 v Sri Lanka, 2000-01

Fresh from winning 1-0 in Pakistan, Nasser Hussain’s side came back from an innings thumping in the first Test at Galle to pull off nervy but gutsy wins at Kandy and Colombo against a team including Muttiah Muralitharan at his peak.

2-0 v Australia, 1970-71

The Aussies had held the Ashes since winning them back in 1958-59, but Ray Illingworth was chaired off the field at Sydney after captaining a side inspired by Geoff Boycott’s runs and John Snow’s wickets.

England did not gain a single lbw decision in the six-match series.

Lovely bubbly: Ray Illingworth (centre), John Snow (right) and Geoff Boycott in Sydney

Lovely bubbly: Ray Illingworth (centre), John Snow (right) and Geoff Boycott in Sydney

2-1 v India, 1984-85

When India won the first Test at Delhi by eight wickets, everyone settled down for a repeat of the tedious 1980-81 series, when the Indians had shut England out after winning the opening Test.

But Mike Gatting and Graeme Fowler scored double hundreds and the tourists went home victors.

Jensen Button beats Lewis Hamilton to British Driver of the Year award

No parting gift for Hamilton as Button beats him to British Driver of the Year award

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UPDATED:

12:12 GMT, 3 December 2012

Jenson Button was last night named British Driver of the Year beating outgoing McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the prestigious Autosport award.

Hamilton, who joins Mercedes in a controversial three-year deal next season, ended his McLaren career with more points, victories and pole-positions than his team-mate this term.

But it was Button who scooped the award for the third time in four years, seeing off competition from fellow F1 racers Hamilton and Paul Di Resta as well as Dario Franchitti, who won the Indy 500 for a third time this season, Touring Car Champion Rob Huff and DTM runner-up and McLaren reserve driver Gary Paffett,

Winner: Jensen Button has won the award for a third time in four years

Winner: Jensen Button has won the award for a third time in four years

TALE OF THE TAPE

Hamilton
Wins: 4
Pole positions 7
DNFs: 6
Points: 190

Button
Wins: 3
Pole Positions 1
DNFs: 2
Points 188

Button, who benefited from Hamilton’s retirement in Brazil to win the final race of the season, said:

‘It has been a very up and down year for us, but [winning in Brazil] was a great way to end the season and hopefully for all the guys working that’ll be good for 2013.’

After a disappointing season in 2011, Hamilton bounced back this term to enjoy arguably his best season for McLaren during his six-year spell with the British outfit.

But he was unable to mount a title challenge after retiring from the lead of three races at Singapore, Abu Dhabi and in Brazil, while a pit-stop gaffe and fuel error cost him big points at the Bahrain and Spanish Grands Prix.

Praise: Lewis Hamilton was backed by Button even though he is leaving for Mercedes

Praise: Lewis Hamilton was backed by Button even though he is leaving for Mercedes

And Button, who will be joined at McLaren by Sergio Perez in 2013, was quick to laud his outgoing team-mate after accepting his British Driver of the Year award.

Phil Duncan F1 blog

He said: ‘For me the excitement of going to McLaren was obviously in racing for the team, but it was also racing against Lewis. He’s unbelievably fast.

‘I love the role of being the experienced driver and that is definitely the case next year – I think I am the most experienced guy in F1 next year. Really looking forward to working with Checo [Sergio Perez] next year too, he has shown great speed and seems like he wants to learn, so it should be good fun.

‘I think this year we’ve shown there is a real heart to this team. They are so passionate about motor racing, they’ve been around for decades and achieved so much. They are very professional but they also have a lot of fun fighting for victories. It’s a big family and I didn’t expect that when I got there.’

Phillip Yau Wing Choi dead: Second fatality at Macau Grand Prix

Second fatality rocks Macau as Hong Kong racer Yau Wing Choi is killed in qualifying

PUBLISHED:

14:16 GMT, 16 November 2012

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UPDATED:

14:16 GMT, 16 November 2012

This weekend's motor sport action in Macau has been marred by a second fatality in less than 24 hours after a local touring car driver was killed in qualifying at the Asian street circuit.

Phillip Yau Wing Choi, from Hong Kong, succumbed to injuries suffered in a crash at Mandarin Bend in qualifying for the Macau Touring Car Cup, a support race to this weekend's Macau Grand Prix.

The incident comes a day after Portuguese motorcycle rider Luis Filipe de Sousa Carreira died after a crash at Fisherman's Bend at the Guia circuit.

Tragedy: Carreira died from injuries sustained in his crash on Thursday

Tragedy: Carreira died from injuries sustained in his crash on Thursday

'The Macau Grand Prix Committee regrets to announce that Phillip Tau Wing Choi… has succumbed to injuries sustained in a racing accident during the qualifying session this afternoon,' read a statement by race organisers.

'The incident occurred at Mandarin Bend at 13.11. The qualifying session was immediately red flagged.

'After the incident, two fully-equipped rescue cars were at the scene, followed by the extrication car. The position of the racing car required cutting in order to facilitate extrication. At 13.19, the competitor was removed from the car, and at 13:20 Mr Yau was transported by ambulance to hospital where he was admitted at 13.24.

'Continuous CPR was performed however he succumbed to his injuries at 13.51.

'The Macau Grand Prix Committee has contacted the family and the members of the team. The Committee expresses its sincere condolences.'

The annual Macau meeting attracts competitors from all over the world to compete in a range of categories, and is the blue riband event of both the Formula Three and World Touring Car Championships.

Ceefax sport tribute: Time before Twitter and Jeff Stelling updates

Farewell, Ceefax: Remembering the days before Twitter and Stelling on a Saturday…

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UPDATED:

16:33 GMT, 23 October 2012

Back when birds were the only thing that tweeted and live football was weekly rather than daily, there was a Saturday afternoon ritual that seems primitive now but for years brought instant knowledge, joy and despair.

If it was 4.55pm, then thousands of thumbs up and down the land would be tapping out that familiar code on the remote control – 302.

And suddenly on the screen before you, in the most basic of pixelated forms, was everything you needed to know. The headlines, the scores and scorers, the tables, the vidiprinter – all in a computerised blend of white, blue and yellow letters.

The way it was: Ceefax was popular across the country but the BBC are terminating the text service

The way it was: Ceefax was popular across the country but the BBC are terminating the text service

Top of the table: Fans would turn their remote to Ceefax for the latest standings

And with it – happiness, elation, annoyance and despair.

Football fans who lived through a time without social networking, Jeff Stelling and Premier League highlights before last orders may take a moment today to reflect that Ceefax, the great information source of their generation, is no more.

This week, the last analogue television signals will be shut down in Northern Ireland and the digital switchover completed, meaning the last handful of Ceefax users will have to go elsewhere for their updates.

Those of a younger age who want – and demand – news of goals as soon as the net ripples will struggle to comprehend that people would sit for two hours on a Saturday staring at a black screen with a few lines of text on it, periodically pressing the refresh button.

If you were interested in everything that was happening, you might watch the scores ‘in vision’ where a flickering black box and vidiprinter would be superimposed over the British Touring Cars from Snetterton or whatever Grandstand were showing.

The numbers for Ceefax sport (p300) – football (302), Premier League scores (316), Premier League table (324), cricket (340), rugby (370) – were as lodged in the memory as your PIN or mobile number might be today.

Ceefax was launched in September 1974, in a time well before rolling news channels and the internet when the only other option was to wait until twelve or six or nine for the next bulletin.

This source of instant headlines and score updates was revolutionary and by the eighties, millions of Britons had upgraded their television sets on order to receive it.

In the nineties, a third of the population checked it at least once a week but for many sports fans it would have been far more often. Many hours were wasted looking up how your team was getting on and then waiting for the pages to click round when you got there.

When England played Tests overseas, long before it was beamed live by Sky, you could follow the action in pain-staking over-by-over updates. Sometimes it would take a little too long to refresh – ‘What on earth has happened’ you’d implore, bashing the reload button. ‘Four, six, wicket Surely not another wicket, England!’

All change: Most fans now tune into Soccer Saturday for updates from Jeff Stelling and co

All change: Most fans now tune into Soccer Saturday for updates from Jeff Stelling and co

And then it would come through your aerial and it would be a maiden over.

Grands Prix could be tracked in quarter-lap instalments, a constantly shifting list of names and sector times. There will be many people who’ll admit they spent two hours gazing at what was essentially alphabet soup.

The football pages brought their own delights. The scores and scorers were available league-by-league and the heart always beat a little quicker as the pages slowly cycled through and back to your side’s match. If there wasn’t a player’s name written in white underneath your opponent’s name, you’d breathe a sigh of relief.

I always admired the reporters who managed to mention every goal in a 4-4 thriller within the confines of four pixelated paragraphs and the sub-editors who squeezed multi-faceted and complicated stories into 20-character headlines. This was an extreme version of Twitter.

It provided great football anecdotes too – in 1997, Queens Park Rangers assistant manager Bruce Rioch found out about his sacking on Ceefax. ‘I am bitterly disappointed they didn’t have the courtesy to… phone me… before I read it on television,’ he said at the time.

Read all about it: Ceefax would break the latest sporting news throughout the day

Read all about it: Ceefax would break the latest sporting news throughout the day

Headlines: Bruce Rioch discovered he'd lost his job at QPR via Ceefax

Headlines: Bruce Rioch discovered he'd lost his job at QPR via Ceefax

Three years earlier, angry Wolves fans has besieged the club’s switchboard after a Ceefax April Fool’s Joke suggested manager Graham Taylor didn’t like the orange colour of the club’s kit and wanted to change it to white.

And in 2001, Roy Essandoh engrained himself in FA Cup legend when scoring the winner for third division Wycombe at Premier League Leicester – having answered the club’s appeal for players on the pages of Ceefax.

Unfortunately, Ceefax was never going to compete with modern ways of finding out what is happening in the world of sport – with breaking news in 140 characters, attractive Sky Sports News presenters and excitable Saturday afternoon correspondents reporting from the ground in high definition.

So the lines of text and crude blocks of colours have been consigned to the past like rattles and rosettes – but there will be plenty of sports fans out there today who will lament the passing of a faithful servant to sports news.

Alex Zanardi wins gold – London 2012 Paralympics

Ex-F1 driver Zanardi completes incredible journey after storming to Paralympic gold

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UPDATED:

16:45 GMT, 5 September 2012

Motor-racing star Alex Zanardi lifted his bike in one mighty hand in celebration of his first Brands Hatch victory as the Italian became Paralympic champion.

The 45-year-old Italian made 45 appearances in Formula One following his debut in 1993 and competed at Brands Hatch when racing in F3000 early in his career, placing second, and then in the World Touring Car Championship later, placing third.

His more recent appearances in Kent came after he was critically injured in the American Memorial 500 Cart event in Germany on September 16, 2001. A 200mph accident dissected his car and he lost both his legs.

Italian job: Zanardi celebrates winning Paralympic gold at Brands Hatch

Italian job: Zanardi celebrates winning Paralympic gold at Brands Hatch

As well as competing in top-level motorsport since the accident, Zanardi has made a successful transition to hand-cycling, culminating in his London 2012 Games triumph.

He won the 16-kilometre men's H4 time-trial at Brands Hatch before lifting his bike above his head in celebration of a success which included the promise of a ride in one of motorsport's most fabled events.

He said: 'I'm Alex Zanardi, I always have to come up with something at the end of a race – I have a bit of a big head.

'My great friend Jimmy Vasser called me last night and said if you win a gold medal I'm going to put you in a car for the Indy 500, so I will have to call him back tonight.

Need for speed: Zanardi blew away the rest of the field, with a winning margin of 27 seconds

Need for speed: Zanardi blew away the rest of the field, with a winning margin of 27 seconds

'I only collected a second place, a third-placed finish and to win I had to come back with a hand-cycle. It's an amazing feeling.

'I'm really, really happy for the result and I knew that this moment was going to bring a little bit of sadness as well.

'This is almost the last day of a great adventure and from Monday I will have to find something different, otherwise life will become a little boring.

'It's at the top of the scale with many other great moments I've been lucky enough to live.'

Recovery: The former Formula One driver was the class of the field at Brands Hatch

Recovery: The former Formula One driver was the class of the field at Brands Hatch

Zanardi clocked 24 minutes 50 seconds but had to watch his rivals finish before being certain of gold ahead of Germany's Norbert Mosandl (25mins 17secs) and Oscar Sanchez of the United States (25:35).

'That was the toughest moment; it was very hard to wait,' Zanardi added. 'I was a little bit emotional, because the prize was very high. I knew I could only do my best and I had to be happy.'

Zanardi played down his personal feat.

'Anybody can be an inspiration for each other,' he said.

Man of the moment: Zanardi's success will be one of the stories of the Games

Man of the moment: Zanardi's success will be one of the stories of the Games

One such inspiration is Gaysli Leon, who sustained spinal cord injures during the 2010 Haiti earthquake, which tragically took the lives of his wife and eight children.

He finished 10th in the H3 race won by Poland's Rafal Wilk.

Leon was granted a late entry to the Games and given a rapturous reception by the crowd.

'I feel like all the biggest athletes in the world,' he said. 'To hear the crowd cheering me on, I was so happy.

Determination: The 45-year-old in action on Wednesday afternoon

Determination: The 45-year-old in action on Wednesday afternoon

'I thank everybody all over the world who helped me. I didn't think it would come true, but by being here I have realised something very, very important.

'It's very hard for people with disabilities in Haiti, but I think I have showed they can do a lot of things.

'This is one of the greatest examples that we can show to them, to inspire them to go further.'

The 45-year-old concentrated on the task in hand while racing, before reflecting on his family afterwards.

'When I'm racing I have to be focused on what I'm doing,' he added. 'If I'm here I'm okay, all my family is okay.'

Thumbs up: Zanardi salutes the crowd at Brands Hatch

Thumbs up: Zanardi salutes the crowd at Brands Hatch

London 2012 Paralympics: Alex Zanardi back on Formula One course

Former F1 driver Zanardi, who lost his legs 11 years ago in horrific crash, is going for hand cycling gold at the Paralympics

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UPDATED:

08:54 GMT, 27 August 2012

Paralympic hand cyclist Alex Zanardi knows the course being used at Brands Hatch next week like the back of his hand – because of his time as a Formula One racing driver.

The 45-year-old Italian suffered a horrific crash in 2001 which saw him lose his legs – but it could have been so much worse.

As he pulled out of a pit stop he lost control of his car and stalled, causing Canadian driver Alex Tagliani to crash into his Reynard-Honda at 217mph which split both the car – and Zanardi – in two.

Going for gold: Alex Zanardi on his hand cycle

Going for gold: Alex Zanardi on his hand cycle

The accident, at Germany's Lausitz track in 2001, left the driver with less than one litre of blood and his doctors could not comprehend how he had survived.

Now Zanardi, who raced for Jordan, Minardi, Lotus and Williams, competes on a three-wheeled hand bike and is going for gold at the Paralympics.

'Last time I was here I was going about five times faster but I still love this circuit,' said Zanardi.

Marathon man: Zanardi celebrates his New York marathon victory

Marathon man: Zanardi celebrates his New York marathon victory

'What saved me was the clean break,' he explained about his injuries. 'I could have easily died right there from the impact.

'They compared my injuries to a Nasa study that charts the critical point beyond which a human body cannot survive and told me I was officially a dead man.'

But despite his horrific crash, Zanardi was more determined than ever to start racing again.

Treatment: Zanardi is helped after the crash

Treatment: Zanardi is helped after the crash

'The first thing I asked myself was “How am I going to do all the things I want to do with no legs”' he said.

Zanardi became a World Touring Car Championship driver and started racking up wins immediately.

'To drive the BMW 320 I convinced the team to create a special brake pedal that I could use with my prosthetic leg,' he said. 'Having no legs doesn’t mean you can’t drive fast and I wasn’t going to be happy scoring the odd point, I thought it was possible to win and went for it.'

In 2007 discovered hand biking – where the pedals are turned by riders' hands rather than their feet – and after only four weeks training came fourth in the hand bike section of the New York marathon.

Comeback king: Zanardi with his Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award in 2005

Comeback king: Zanardi with his Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award in 2005

He retired from racing in 2009 and started in his bid to get into the Italy squad for the London 2012 Paralympics.

At his fourth attempt he finally won the New York marathon and is expected to push for gold at the Games.

Zanardi has modified his own bike to suit his physique perfectly, and even drescribed his carbon-fibre seat as 'like a Cinderella shoe'.

Determination: Zanardi kept racing motor vehicles until 2009 when he started full-time on the hand cycle

Determination: Zanardi kept racing motor vehicles until 2009 when he started full-time on the hand cycle

'It’s not much different to Formula One where they are improving the cars constantly,' he said. 'The difference is every hand biker needs a different bike depending on their residual ability,' he said.

'If some people could fly, Usain Bolt would feel disabled,' he said. 'Doing the best with what I have is the biggest challenge.'

He added: 'My parents taught me that I could always improve on things,' he said. 'After my crash I never doubted it would be hard but I would be lying to say this new life has been a surprise to me. I did it because I thought it was possible.'

Wales set for new motor racing circuit

Wales set for new 250m motor racing circuit to play host to MotoGP and Touring Car

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UPDATED:

10:58 GMT, 15 August 2012

A new 250million motor racing circuit is being planned for south Wales by 2015.

It is hoped the 3.5-mile Circuit of Wales in Ebbw Vale, proposed by The Heads of the Valleys Development Company, will host MotoGP, World Superbikes, World Motocross and Touring Car.

The main circuit will be accompanied by an international kart track and motocross tracks, and as part of the plans the project will also include investment in industrial, commercial and leisure developments.

New home: The 3-5 mile circuit could play host to the British Touring Car championship

New home: The 3-5 mile circuit could play host to the British Touring Car championship

A race academy is also in the pipeline to develop young British and European elite riders and drivers.

The developers are looking to submit a planning application to Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council in late September or early October.

Michael Carrick, chief executive of The Heads of the Valleys Development Company, said: 'This is a major private sector-originated regeneration project in partnership with the local authority and the Welsh Government which will create significant job opportunities in a deprived part of the UK.

'We believe we have identified an outstanding site in Ebbw Vale, on the boundary of a national park and close to major population centres.

'The topography will allow us to create a unique, exciting, safe and stunning environment, which will offer an outstanding experience for competitors and spectators.

'We hope to finalise our detailed plans during this year and commence work on the development early next year with a view to being operational in 2015.'

England coach Stuart Lancaster defends decision to ditch Owen Farrell

Gambler Lancaster defends decision to ditch Farrell for second Test

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UPDATED:

20:56 GMT, 14 June 2012

Stuart Lancaster has rejected suggestions that his overhaul of
the England back line represents a 'radical' gamble, after confirming
the recall of Toby Flood in place of Owen Farrell and a full Test debut
for Jonathan Joseph.

As revealed in yesterday's Sportsmail, the No 10 shirt has been passed
from the off-colour Saracens rookie Farrell to Leicester's
Flood, the most-capped player in this England touring squad, for
tomorrow's pivotal second encounter with the Springboks at Ellis Park.

All change: Flood (left) is in while Farrell (right) misses out

All change: Flood (left) is in while Farrell (right) misses out

All change: Flood (left) is in while Farrell (right) misses out

We told you first…

Sportsmail's Chris Foy reveals Lancaster's plans to drop Farrell

Further changes behind the scrum see Manu Tuilagi shift to inside centre to form a new midfield partnership with London Irish sensation Jonathan Joseph, while David Strettle returns to the starting XV on the wing.

There is a clear sense of Lancaster and his assistant coaches, Graham Rowntree and Mike Catt, showing their full hand here with a bold selection designed to ignite the national team's attacking game with youthful vigour.

The pairing of Tuilagi and Joseph is a positive move, audacious even, but Lancaster was adamant that it is not a step too far.

'I've never been afraid to trust my instincts and trust the instincts of the other coaches,' he said. 'If you'd sat down at the end of the World Cup and tried to pick the team that would play against Scotland (at the start of the Six Nations) most people would have said, “That is a pretty radical selection”.

'We have never been afraid to do that if we are confident in the players, so I wouldn't describe it as radical. Opportunities have been presented due to injury. We have to learn about the players and see if they can step up to the highest level.'

Owen going: Farrell has made changes to his team for the second Test

Owen going: Farrell has made changes to his team for the second Test

Much of the focus inevitably falls on the change at stand-off, where
Flood returns after a strong impact as a replacement during last
weekend's defeat in Durban. Being dropped to the bench is a setback for
Farrell, but Lancaster claimed the 20-year-old has reacted in a way that
suggests it will be a temporary hitch.

ENGLAND TEAM v SOUTH AFRICA

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.

'He took the news in an extremely professional way,' said the head
coach. 'He's trained fantastically well since and has been an example of
how a player should treat a disappointment and respond. The reality is
that we've not dropped him out of the 22 so there's a very good chance
he will play a big part as the game goes on.

'I sat down with him at the start of the week to tell him the news, then
I gave him 24 hours to think about our conversation and had another sit
down. His question to me was, “What do you think I need to work on
going into this Test”.

'I'm not going to talk publicly about that but his strengths far outweigh the areas that need developing.
'I think it is important to remember this time a year ago Owen was
playing in the Premiership final and the Under 20 World Cup Final. He
has got a fantastic future ahead of him.'

Assessing what Flood will offer in his first start since the World Cup,
Lancaster added: 'Toby plays flat to the line, kicks well, moves
defences around and that's what I hope he'll bring to the game.'

Flood alert: Toby is in as Farrell drops down to the bench

Flood alert: Toby is in as Farrell drops down to the bench

Flood alert: Toby is in as Farrell drops down to the bench

The theory behind the centre switch is to employ a gainline- busting,
off-loading 12 and a sharp, nimble, astute 13 capable of making outside
breaks. Tuilagi will be away from his familiar position, but there is a
positive omen for England as the Samoan-born centre wore the No 12 shirt
when the Tigers beat the touring Springboks at Welford Road in
November, 2009.

'/06/14/article-2159170-13870D5F000005DC-172_634x421.jpg” width=”634″ height=”421″ alt=”Best foot forward: Farrell kicked four penalties in Durban” class=”blkBorder” />

Best foot forward: Farrell kicked four penalties in Durban