Lawrence Dallaglio believes the inclusion of James Haskell to England’s loose-forward trio will help combat the Boks.
Haskell replacing Tom Croft is the only change to the England team that lost 28-14 to Australia, while Leicester No 8 Jordan Crane is added to the bench with Michael Lipman dropping out. Dallaglio believes Haskell, who was his team-mate at Wasps, is just the tonic needed to douse the Springboks’ physicality.
“Against a team like South Africa we’re going to need some key ball-carriers who are going to take the attack to South Africa and James Haskell is a fiery player who can get England over the gain line,” said Dallaglio. “I’m not surprised because he adds a little bit defensively, as well as that ball-carrying ability.”
The former England eighthman feels Haskell’s aggressive nature was the main reason for his call-up.
“Playing South Africa is about physical confrontation. We’ve not necessarily always been there physically and we need to add a bit. There aren’t many guys who can carry the game to South Africa and James can do that.”
Haskell’s club Wasps currently lie 11th on the Premiership and personally the 23-year-old hasn’t been in any form this season. However, Dallaglio feels Haskell saves his best performances for those that count.
“I think he was always going to be in the mix somehow and he probably didn’t get selected because his club form has been patchy at best. But he’s got an opportunity and it’s a chance for him to show what he can do.
“He’s proved on a few occasions before that he’s a big-game player and he’s got the ability not just to get beyond that first line of defence, but also to offload.
“I think it’s a welcome opportunity for him. He’s one of the up-and-coming stars of the England team and it’s great he’s got this chance.”