England vs South Africa: Elliot Daly starts while Tom Wood makes first appearance since World Cup

Jones makes six changes to the side completed the 3-0 whiewash over Australia in the summer

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The Independent Online

Elliot Daly will make his first England start as head coach Eddie Jones opts for the Wasps centre over Jonathan Joseph for the opening autumn international against South Africa on Saturday.

Owen Farrell continues at inside centre and joins Daly in the midfield as Jones recalls flanker Tom Wood to the team for his first appearance in over a year, since England exited the World Cup.

Wood, normally a blindside, will play at seven with former captain and more natural openside choice Chris Robshaw keeping the number six shirt.

There are three uncapped players named on the bench in Worcester’s Ben Te’o, Harlequins’ Kyle Sinckler and Wasps back rower Nathan Hughes.

Jonny May returns on the wing with Jack Nowell injured while Courtney Lawes will win his 50th cap in the second row alongside Joe Launchbury, after usual locks Maro Itoje and George Kruis were ruled out last month.

Daly has won five caps for the Red Rose but all have come as a replacement and he comes in for Joseph after the Bath centre picked up a slight groin injury.

"We've trained well this week and I'm pleased with how the players have come together and responded to some of the things we've asked them to do. The boys are focused and ready to go," Jones said.

"We're looking forward to the game. It's a fantastic opportunity to show how much depth we have in English rugby.

"With a few influential players not available for selection this is a great opportunity for some of the new faces to put both feet forward and we're backing them to do the job for us.

"Test matches are always about the contest up front and South Africa pride themselves in the set piece but we'll be ready for the challenge.

"We can't wait to get back to Twickenham and make this a game to remember. It's a very special stadium and we hope the crowd really gets behind us on Saturday.

"We want to make Twickenham an intimidating place for opposition teams to play rugby and the fans can contribute to that.”

England team to face South Africa:

M Brown (Harlequins); M Yarde (Harlequins), E Daly (Wasps), O Farrell (Saracens), J May (Gloucester); G Ford (Bath), B Youngs (Leicester); M Vunipola (Saracens), D Hartley (Northampton, capt), D Cole (Leicester), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), C Robshaw (Harlequins), T Wood (Northampton), B Vunipola (Saracens).

Replacements: J George (Saracens), J Marler (Harlequins), K Sinckler (Harlequins), D Attwood (Bath Rugby), N Hughes (Wasps), D Care (Harlequins), B Te'o (Worcester), J Joseph (Bath).

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