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Morgan should replace Vunipola against South Africa

| 12.11.2014

Do you want a banker for England’s clash with South Africa at the weekend? Well, here it is…

It will be a bruising, bone crushing encounter when these two sides lock horns in west London next
Saturday and the physical battle in the pack will determine who comes out on top.

Sorry for those of you expecting another brilliant Ladbrokes News betting tip (England to win for what it’s worth!) but when England and South Africa go head-to-head it’s not one for the faint hearted.

And here are the men Oliver Yew thinks England, who are 10/11 to beat South Africa with a -1 handicap, should pick as they try to beat the Boks for the first time in 11 matches between the two nations…

1. Joe Marler – Harlequins

The Harlequins skipper was solid in the scrum and put himself about around the park but against South Africa, England will want him to give even more. He tackled well and was always on hand to carry when needed but solid will not be good enough with the physical South Africans in town.

2. Dylan Hartley – Northampton

The lineout was exceptional for England against New Zealand and that in part was down to Hartley’s delivery. In true Hartley style, the Northampton hooker was a constant menace and he will need that and more against a very strong Springbok pack.

3. David Wilson – Bath

In the absence of Dan Cole, the Bath prop is making the number three jersey his own. Excellent in the set-piece and in the tight, Wilson will be looking to put in another solid performance at Twickenham. The Scrums will be vital against South Africa and England will be hoping the 29-year-old can dominate.

4. Dave Attwood – Bath

The new father was one of the standout performers for England against the All Blacks. His work-rate was excellent all afternoon and as mentioned England’s lineout worked tremendously well with the Bath lock brilliant in stealing planet of New Zealand ball. Attwood was also tremendous in the loose and gained plenty of yardage with his powerful running game. More of the same please, Dave.

5. Courtney Lawes – Northampton

England lost the Northampton lock’s services early on against the All Blacks after a bang to the head but it appears he has recovered and can take his place in the starting XV. Lawes’ athleticism is a big plus to England and his powerful tackling – just ask Sonny Bill Williams – he will prove a huge asset against the Boks.

6. James Haskall – Wasps

Tom Wood worked hard for his side last weekend and he is the one who puts in plenty of the work you don’t see. But England needed more from their back row and in-from James Haskell can provide that with his pace and power. Wood is currently still nursing a sore body from the New Zealand encounter and it seems the perfect opportunity to unleash the strength of the Wasps captain on South Africa.

7. Chris Robshaw – Harlequins

Another solid performance from the England captain but is another player Lancaster will certainly want more from and to have an even bigger impact on the game. The Harlequins flanker made the most tackles of any England player last weekend and no-one can question his commitment. But would he be in the side at open side if Steffon Armitage was available for selection? That’s a debate for another day!

8. Ben Morgan – Gloucester

Billy Vunipola put in a disappointing performance last Saturday and after failing to last the pace should make way for Ben Morgan against South Africa. The Gloucester number eight made an impact off the bench last Saturday and was unlucky not start after his good performances on the tour of New Zealand last summer. A strong carrier, who deserves the chance to show what he can do against very durable opponents.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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Oliver Yew