Haskell to beef up pack with England change

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The Independent Online

England manager Martin Johnson has reacted to the Australia defeat by making one change for Saturday's World Cup final rerun against South Africa with the introduction of hefty flanker James Haskell for Tom Croft.

England, beaten 28-14 by the Wallabies at the weekend having overcome the Pacific Islands 39-13 in Johnson's first game in charge, failed to impose themselves up front in the set-piece or breakdown but he has resisted a widespread reshuffle.

Haskell, who came on as a replacement in both those games, brings extra bulk to the back row to take on the powerful Springbok pack at Twickenham on Saturday.

The only other change is on the bench where uncapped Leicester flanker Jordan Crane comes in for Michael Lipman.

Johnson admits he was tempted to make more changes but is trying to build a new team and decided to give his inexperienced players the chance to make amends for last week.

England conceded "careless" penalties and failed to capitalise on the opportunities they did create against the Wallabies.

"It's great we can choose between two very young and exciting players in James and Tom," said Johnson.

"We want to get some consistency in the team. They are aware of the mistakes we made - but they have the opportunity to correct them.

"The defeat rankles. We are still growing into the way we are playing. It only takes a momentary lapse, a few guys going off script in the heat of battle, for things to break down in that area.

"We gave away eight kickable penalties. We need to cut out mistakes, cut out penalties and put ourselves in a position in the last 20 minutes to win the game.

"The great thing from our point of view is that there are lots of opportunities out there - we just have to see them and exploit them."

England failed to dominate in the scrum as they had done against the Wallabies in the World Cup quarter-final.

But Johnson said: "We will see a different game this week and a better scrummaging contest."

South Africa, struggling with injuries, have delayed announcing their team until Thursday.