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.”
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)