Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Wilson in at number eight for England, Farrell outhalf

Dylan Hartley is back in the England squad Dylan Hartley is back in the England squad
Shannon Reynolds | 04 November, 2018, 06:55

Eddie Jones believes "spiritual leader" Owen Farrell's aggression will serve England well when an injury-hit side face South Africa in their opening November worldwide at Twickenham on Saturday.

England were transformed in the second half, with their backs finally getting the ball in hand, but it was their pack, missing a host of first-choice players, who delivered the key blow by shoving the Springbok pack backwards near their own line to win a penalty that Farrell slotted for the 12-11 lead.

Flyhalf Handre Pollard had the chance to win it for South Africa with another long-range penalty three minutes from time but his effort skimmed off the outside of the post while England's full-time celebrations were briefly halted while the referee consulted the TMO to look at a Farrell tackle. "I don't understand this guys".

After an injury-hit start to the season Te'o made his first appearance of the campaign two weeks ago when he came off the bench in Warriors' victory over Ospreys in the European Challenge Cup.

A awful injury list offers Jones some protection, but a run of five defeats in six Tests hints at a coach who has lost the Midas touch that lit up the opening two years of his reign. It will be a proper game of rugby so we'll just wait and see.

"We had players out on their feet", he said.

Having lost five of their last six Tests, England crucially needed to get their campaign off to a positive start at Twickenham this afternoon.

"We left a couple of opportunities out there but it was important to get the win".

However, the likes of former Ireland and Lions winger Luke Fitzgerald and ex-England fly-half Andy Goode, along with many commentators, took the opposite view.

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We're happy, they're (South Africa) not so happy.

Dylan Hartley, co-captain alongside Farrell, has more caps than the rest of the pack put together having made 93 global appearances.

Twickenham was suddenly alive and England responded with their best spell of the match as Itoje, Farrell, Daly and Henry Slade made inroads and Jonny May skipped past four tacklers in a brilliant run out of defence.

Farrell put a shot on a steaming Andre Esterhuizen that had the Springbok midfielder floored.

It meant, despite never once having any possession in the Springboks' 22 in the opening 40 minutes, Owen Farrell's two penalties kept them in touching distance.

Farrell landed a big shoulder on replacement Esterhuizen as he tracked across field with the clock in the red The force of the collision sent Esterhuizen bouncing back Australian referee Angus Gardner ruled the tackle legitimate after reviewing the video footage.to the tourists' disappointment.and Farrell's delight. We are going to prepare well and I can not wait to play them.

After a fairytale start to his tenure as England coach, things have gone a bit awry for Jones and a hard autumn schedule against South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia could have far-reaching implications as he prepares for the 2019 World Cup.

The Springboks suffered a setback when lock Eben Etzebeth limped off early in the second half.

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