Foden returns to full-back for England

Pictures by Linda Dawson
Pictures by Linda Dawson

Saints star Ben Foden returns to full-back for England’s second Test against South Africa on Saturday.

Foden started on the wing for last weekend’s 22-17 defeat but will revert to his preferred position following the loss of Mike Brown for the rest of the series with a thumb injury.

David Strettle takes up the position on the left-wing while Saints pair Chris Ashton and Dylan Hartley retain their places.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster has revamped his backs after the defeat in Durban in an attempt to level the three-match series by recalling Toby Flood at fly-half in place of Owen Farrell.

Flood’s inclusion at number 10 is one of three personnel changes with centre Jonathan Joseph being handed his first start alongside Strettle returningand wing David Strettle returning.

Joseph comes in at outside centre with Manu Tuilagi moving inside to take over from the injured Brad Barritt.

Phil Dowson and Lee Dickson are among the replacements for the clash, which is at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg.

The selections of Flood and Joseph are bold ones and hooker Hartley feels England must take the game to the Springboks this weekend.

Hartley said: “Last week we didn’t play as much as we would have liked to and in the second half we defended for a lot of it.

“You can’t really win games defending all the time.

“We need to take our chances. We can’t keep coming out here and playing safe all the time, although you can’t take too many risks.

“It is going to be another tough challenge in the heights of Johannesburg but I think we are all looking forward to it.”

England: B Foden (Northampton); C Ashton (Northampton), J Joseph (London Irish), M Tuilagi (Leicester), D Strettle (Saracens); T Flood (Leicester), B Youngs (Leicester); J Marler (Harlequins), D Hartley (Northampton), D Cole (Leicester), M Botha (Saracens), G Parling (Leicester), T Johnson (Exeter), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), B Morgan (Scarlets).

Replacements: L Mears (Bath), A Corbisiero (London Irish), T Palmer (Stade Francais), P Dowson (Northampton), L Dickson (Northampton), O Farrell (Saracens), A Goode (Saracens).