Former Raider Launchbury to start against South Africa

Joe Launchbury

Joe Launchbury

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Former Worthing Raiders Rugby Club player Joe Launchbury will start his first Test for England in Saturday’s international against South Africa at Twickenham.

The 21-year-old London Wasps lock impressed off the bench against Fiji and Australia and gets his chance in a side showing six changes.

Tom Wood (Northampton Saints) and Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby) take over from Tom Johnson and Thomas Waldrom at No 6 and 8 respectively, while Alex Corbisiero comes in for another former Raider, Joe Marler, at loosehead prop.

Mike Brown (Harlequins) replaces Charlie Sharples on the left wing and Ben Youngs partners Leicester Tigers’ team-mate Toby Flood at halfback.

There are also call-ups to the bench for the first time in this series for James Haskell, Mouritz Botha and Jonathan Joseph.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster said: “We have picked a team that will give us the best chance of beating South Africa.

“There were some tight calls, 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 and will suit the challenge we face against a tough and physical South African team.”

The England team is: 15, Alex Goode; 14, Chris Ashton; 13, Manusamoa Tuilagi; 12, Brad Barritt; 11, Mike Brown; 10, Toby Flood; 9, Ben Youngs; 1, Alex Corbisiero; 2, Tom Youngs; 3, Dan Cole; 4, Joe Launchbury; 5, Geoff Parling; 6, Tom Wood; 7, Chris Robshaw; 8, Ben Morgan.

Replacements: 16, David Paice; 17, David Wilson; 18, Mako Vunipola; 19, Mouritz Botha; 20, James Haskell; 21, Danny Care; 22, Owen Farrell; 23, Jonathan Joseph.