England rejig backline
14 Jun 2012
Toby Flood has been preferred at flyhalf for the second Test against the Springboks while coach Stuart Lancaster has made several other changes to his starting backline.
Flood replaces Owen Farrell at No 10 after the Saracens player had an ordinary outing at Kings Park last Saturday. Flood is far more experienced than Farrell and has enjoyed a good halfback partnership with Ben Youngs at Leicester.
‘Owen has had a fantastic season and I am sure he will make a significant impact from the bench,’ said Lancaster. ‘However, Toby has waited patiently for his opportunity and the time is right to allow him the chance to demonstrate his experience and skills in what will be a very tough challenge.’
The injuries to fullback Mike Brown and centre Brad Barritt have forced further changes to the back division. Ben Foden moves to No 15 and David Strettle takes his place on the left wing. Manu Tuilagi shifts to No 12 while Jonathan Joseph comes into the midfield for his first Test start.
‘It’s a shame for Mike Brown who worked hard to get that Test start but Ben Foden naturally reverts to fullback and we return to the wing partnership of David Strettle and Chris Ashton that served us well in the 6 Nations,’ said the England coach.
Meanwhile, Lancaster has kept the starting pack intact. There are changes to the reserve bench, with prop Alex Corbisiero replacing Paul Doran-Jones and Alex Goode coming in to provide backline cover.
England – 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 David Strettle, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler.
Subs: 16 Lee Mears, 17 Alex Corbisiero, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 Lee Dickson, 21 Owen Farrell, 22 Alex Goode.