No place for Saints centre Francis as England name team for second Test

Saints centre Piers Francis will not be involved for England this weekend (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Saints centre Piers Francis will not be involved for England this weekend (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

There is no place in England's second Test 23 for Saints centre Piers Francis.

Francis did play the final few minutes from the bench in last Saturday's 42-39 defeat to South Africa in the first Test in Johannesburg.

But he has not been named among the replacements for this Saturday's battle in Bloemfontein (kick-off 4.05pm BST).

Boss Eddie Jones has made two changes to the starting 15 that played last weekend, with Brad Shields making his first England start at blindside flanker and lock Joe Launchbury coming in for Nick Isiekwe, having recovered from his calf injury.

Danny Cipriani is named as a replacement, taking the place of Francis.

Cipriani’s most recent cap for England came against France ahead of the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

Newcastle's Mark Wilson is also included on the bench, having last played for England on the Argentina tour last season.

Jones said: “We have come here to win the series against South Africa and the squad is ready to go out and beat them this weekend.

"We have had a very good preparation this week and the intensity and executions in those sessions are going to put us in a good position for Saturday.

“The way the team have come together has been superb.

"Owen Farrell, with a number of the senior players, has really moulded the squad together.

"They are working hard to improve their game to make sure we win.

On England's selection, Jones said: “Based on South Africa’s likely selection of an extra lineout jumper we have decided to start with Brad Shields, which improves our lineout.

"It is tough on Chris Robshaw as he has been an outstanding player for us but I know he will bounce back.

“Danny Cipriani will come onto the bench, as we are looking for something a little bit different to finish the game, which he can bring.

"He’s been training well and doing everything that has been asked of him."

England team to face South Africa

15 Elliot Daly (Wasps, 19 caps)

14 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 35 caps)

13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 11 caps)

12 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 59 caps)

11 Mike Brown (Harlequins, 70 caps)

10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 46 caps)

9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 75 caps)

1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 50 caps)

2 Jamie George (Saracens, 26 caps)

3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 11 caps)

4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 52 caps)

5 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 20 caps)

6 Brad Shields (Hurricanes/ Wasps, 1 cap)

7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 2 cap)

8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 35 caps)

Replacements

16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 6 caps)

17 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 57 caps)

18 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 9 caps)

19 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 2 caps)

20 Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 15 caps)

21 Ben Spencer (Saracens, 1 cap)

22 Danny Cipriani (Wasps, 14 caps)

23 Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks, 3 caps)