Goode given chance to prove Test credentials



On their own admission, England know next to nothing about the South African Barbarians they will face in Kimberley tomorrow, apart from that around half of them come from Eastern Province, where the rugby folk tend to fight first and engage in discussion at a later date. Equally, the tourists are not quite sure how to react to the events in Durban last weekend – not only in relation to the body-count, but also regarding the nature of the Springbok victory.

The head coach, Stuart Lancaster, was keen to see Ben Foden, his full-back in the Six Nations, play three Tests on the left wing. That is now unlikely, thanks to Mike Brown's busted thumb, although Alex Goode of Saracens, one of the "and now for something completely different" brigade, can expect to be on the bench for the resumption of hostilities with the Boks if he goes well in Kimberley.

Lancaster is also thinking hard about his midfield now Brad Barritt is out with eye trouble. The coach will not draw any final conclusions until after today's training run – the first for the elite players since the setback on Saturday.

"It's a very important session for us and some players need to train well," Lancaster said. Toby Flood of Leicester falls into that category, as does Owen Farrell, whose game management in Durban has been criticised more than his defensive bravery and dead-eye marksmanship have been celebrated.

With the odds shortening on Jonathan Joseph of London Irish making a first Test start at outside-centre, it may be that Flood and Farrell will be paired as footballing inside backs. The possibility of this grew when Lancaster talked of Manu Tuilagi's teenage experiences as a wing.

"I think Manu played virtually all of his age-group rugby in that position," Lancaster said. "In fact, he played in the same back division as Owen and Jonathan." Unless the coach was pulling a fast one, there seems more chance of the human bowling ball moving outwards from No 13 than inwards.

Another contender for duty at Ellis Park is the loosehead prop Alex Corbisiero, who had surgery on his biceps before the tour and has been struggling with a swollen knee. He will not reclaim his place from Joe Marler but he may be included among this weekend's replacements.

George Robson, the Harlequins lock, will lead the "dirt-trackers" tomorrow, apeing the Test captain, Chris Robshaw.

"Two skippers from one club is an impressive achievement," Lancaster said. The game will mark James Haskell's return to representative duty after spells in Japan and with the Dunedin-based Highlanders Super 15 team. The Quins scrum-half Danny Care has an opportunity to complete his rugby rehabilitation after a series of alcohol-linked arrests.

David Strettle of Saracens will play on the wing, as will the free-scoring Wasp Christian Wade, whose defensive frailties were ruthlessly exposed on his only previous appearance as a senior England player, against the Barbarians last month. Anthony Allen of Leicester and Jordan Turner-Hall of Quins – two inside-centres – have been chosen ahead of Quins' George Lowe, a No 13.

England XV: A Goode; D Strettle (both Saracens), A Allen (Leicester), J Turner-Hall (Harlequins), C Wade (Wasps); C Hodgson (Saracens), D Care (Harlequins); M Mullan (Worcester), J Gray (Harlequins), P Doran-Jones (Northampton), G Kitchener (Leicester), G Robson (Harlequins, capt), J Haskell (Highlanders), C Fearns (Bath), T Waldrom (Leicester). Replacements: T Youngs (Leicester), R Harden (Gloucester), T Palmer (Stade Français), J Gibson (London Irish), L Dickson (Northampton), G Lowe (Harlequins), N Abendanon (Bath).

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Alexis Sanchez, Alan Pardew and Graziano Pelle
footballAfter QPR draw, follow Villa vs Arsenal, Newcastle vs Hull and Swansea vs Southampton
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam