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England coach Jones axes Robshaw for first time

Flanker Chris Robshaw has been dropped for England's second test against South Africa.
AFP

Johannesburg (AFP) – Former captain Chris Robshaw was axed for the first time by Eddie Jones as the England coach made two changes for a must-win second Test against South Africa Saturday.

Blindside flanker Robshaw loses his place to New Zealand-born Brad Shields, who made his debut off the bench in a 42-39 first Test loss in Johannesburg last weekend.

England must win in Bloemfontein to stand a chance of taking a series in South Africa for the first time after five failed attempts.

The final match of the three-Test series in scheduled for Cape Town on June 23.

In the only other change to the starting line-up, fit-gain lock Joe Launchbury returns in place of Nick Isiekwe.

There are also two alterations to the bench with loose forward Mark Wilson and fly-half Danny Cipriani replacing Shields and Piers Francis.

Robshaw, who led England 43 times in 65 selections, pays the price for a poor English showing in the breakdown battle last weekend.

The 32-year-old missed seven tackles and made only seven as England surrendered an early 21-point lead to lose a thriller.

Shields played last season for Super Rugby outfit Wellington Hurricanes and will join English Premiership outfit Wasps for the 2018/2019 season.

“Based on South Africa’s likely selection of an extra lineout jumper, we have decided to start with Brad Shields, which improves our lineout,” explained Australia-born Jones.

“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 has been training well and doing everything that has been asked of him.”

Australia-born Jones continued: “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.”

Team (15-1)

Elliot Daly; Jonny May, Henry Slade, Owen Farrell (capt), Mike Brown; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Billy Vunipola, Tom Curry, Brad Shields; Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury; Kyle Sinckler, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Joe Marler, Harry Williams, Mark Wilson, Nathan Hughes, Ben Spencer, Danny Cipriani, Denny Solomona

Coach: Eddie Jones (AUS)

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