South Africa v England: Uncapped forward Brad Shields on bench for England

By Chris JonesBBC Radio 5 live rugby union reporter
Brad Shields
Brad Shields helped the Hurricanes to a Super Rugby title in 2016 and led the side to a draw against the British and Irish Lions last June
South Africa v England, first Test
Date: 9 June Time: 16:05 BST Venue: Ellis Park Stadium
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and online. Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app

Uncapped Hurricanes forward Brad Shields has been fast-tracked into the England squad for Saturday's first Test against South Africa in Johannesburg.

New Zealand-born Shields only met up with the squad on Sunday, but will be on the bench for the Ellis Park match.

Lock Joe Launchbury misses out with a calf injury, with Nick Isiekwe making his first Test start in the second row.

Rookie Tom Curry, 19, starts at open-side flanker, while Henry Slade is selected at outside centre.

Owen Farrell will captain the side in the absence of Dylan Hartley, who misses the tour because of concussion.

"Ellis Park is the spiritual homeland of South African rugby and the Springboks play to another level on that ground, so we know we have to raise our game physically early on and be enormously accurate in the way we play," said England head coach Eddie Jones.

Shields, who qualifies for England through his parents, will join Wasps later this year at the end of the Super Rugby season.

The 27-year-old was part of the New Zealand Under-20s side that retained the Junior IRB World Championship title in 2011 but has never been capped by the All Blacks.

However, his selection has proved controversial,external-link with World Rugby vice-chairman Gus Pichot the latest to question his switch of allegiance.

He is joined on the bench by number eight Nathan Hughes, which means England are without specialist cover in the second row.

New captain Farrell will line up in between George Ford and Slade in the midfield, while Elliot Daly and Mike Brown have swapped their usual positions, with Daly at full-back and Brown on the wing in a repeat of how they lined against the Barbarians.

"Owen Farrell has settled in well to his new role, with the senior players supporting him, and there is a good feeling within the camp," said Jones.

Sale flanker Curry, whose identical twin brother Ben is captaining England at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship currently taking place in France, wins only his second cap after featuring on the tour of Argentina last summer.

Uncapped Saracens scrum-half Ben Spencer is set to make his England debut from the bench.

"We want to do something special on this tour and the players are all incredibly excited about this challenge and opportunity we have," Jones said.

Wholesale changes for Springboks

Wasps full-back Willie Le Roux and Sale scrum-half Faf de Klerk, who have been two of the Premiership's outstanding players this season, will start for South Africa.

Uncapped trio S'busiso Nkosi, Aphiwe Dyantyi and RG Snyman have also been included by head coach Rassie Erasmus in a revamped side following their 22-20 loss to Wales in Washington on Saturday.

Trevor Nyakane is nursing a rib injury and has been given until Friday to prove his fitness, with Wilco Louw on standby.

The side will be captained by flanker Siya Kolisi, who makes history by becoming the first black player to captain the Springboks in a Test match.

South Africa: Willie le Roux; Sibusiso Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Aphiwe Dyantyi; Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk; Duane Vermeulen, Jean-Luc du Preez, Siya Kolisi (capt); Franco Mostert, RG Snyman; Trevor Nyakane/Wilco Louw, Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: Akker van der Merwe, Steven Kitshoff, Wilco Louw/Thomas du Toit, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Ivan van Zyl, Elton Jantjies, Warrick Gelant

England: Elliot Daly; Jonny May, Henry Slade, Owen Farrell, Mike Brown; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Nick Isiekwe, Chris Robshaw, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Joe Marler, Harry Williams, Brad Shields, Nathan Hughes, Ben Spencer, Piers Francis, Denny Solomona


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