Tue. Nov 22nd, 2022

England dropped winger Jack Willis for the Test against South Africa on Saturday, and there is also an injury suspicion hanging over veteran prop Mako Vunipola. Head coach Eddie Jones has instead chosen to expand his specialist line-up options by keeping the Saracens unlocked Hugh Tizard on a 26-man training roster.

Unlucky Willis came off the bench in the final stages of Saturday’s 25-25 draw against New Zealand, but the breakdown specialist now more than meets the requirements of a game that England management sees as a very different tactical challenge. Extremely promising Tizard and Northampton couples David Ribbans and Alex Coles are all in the mix, with the inclusion of Sale’s Bevan Rodd as a replacement for Vunipola, who twisted his back in a live practice session on Tuesday.

Jones can choose to give the second-place South African-born Ribbans the first start, Maro Itoje returns to the blind court and Coles and Tizard compete for a place on the bench, but whoever plays, England are determined. take the game from the very beginning to the Springboks and start faster than they ever did against the All Blacks.

Scrum coach Matt Proudfoot, who was part of the South African coaching regimen during the victorious 2019 World Cup campaign, stressed that England will need a different mindset to tackle the strong Springbok set piece. “Last week was a technical battle (but) this week it was a battle of intent, a battle of wills,” Proudfoot said. “Combine the nature of the competition with the fact that we weren’t at our best last Saturday and the guys are very determined.

“The challenge will be about intense engagement, whereas with the All Blacks it’s about speed of engagement. Where the All Blacks try to tear you apart, the Springboks have a different philosophy. They try to separate you. They come to you, look for a weakness, and then use all their strength to exploit that weakness. It’s about all the British eight doing exactly the same thing. This is not about individual challenges against South Africa.”

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Lawsuits to be filed against governing bodies

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The sports law firm, which represents more than 225 rugby players suffering from neurological disorders, will file lawsuits this week against World Rugby, the Rugby Football Union and the Welsh Rugby Union.

Rylands Garth said his plaintiffs “argued that these defendants negligently failed to take reasonable precautions to protect players from permanent injury caused by repeated concussion and concussion blows.”

More than 20 players involved in the case, including England World Cup winner Steve Thompson and former Wales captain Ryan Jones, have spoken publicly about brain injuries from playing sports.

French sports newspaper L’Equipe also reported that 15 players are planning to sue the French rugby federation (FFR) and the national league (LNR) for failing to protect themselves from the effects of head injuries while playing in France. Only two of the 15 people are French, and the other plaintiffs are also French, including those involved in other cases such as Thompson, Alix Popham, Carl Hayman and Jamie Cudmore, who have played for French clubs throughout their careers.

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Proudfoot also revealed that England’s offensive practice was “a bit hectic” after he challenged Kyle Sinckler to “revive” the session. “I asked Kyle to play a special role for us. You need some spice. This is a big game. These guys are professional and looking at each other but they [can] take it up a notch. These guys want to win. The conclusion after last weekend is that there is much more to the team. Being able to do what we did at the end of the game shows that there is more in us.”

Back line forward Sam Simmonds has also made it clear that England want to finish the autumn with a bang. “We were probably 5% off in the first half against New Zealand and if you give them opportunities they are too good not to take them,” said Simmonds, who faced Boxing on the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour and knew what happened. Coming this weekend

“Them [South Africa] I want to bully teams… it’s more like ‘Why should I run around you when I can get through you?’