Rugby World Cup 2023: England name side to face South Africa in semi-final


Steve Borthwick has named his side to play South Africa in the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup at Stade de France, Paris on Saturday.

Owen Farrell will captain a starting XV that sees three changes to the side that defeated Fiji 30-24 in Sunday’s quarter-final in Marseille. Joe Marler returns at loosehead prop, George Martin comes into the second row, and Freddie Steward is installed at full-back.

Jamie George and Dan Cole make up the front row, Maro Itoje is the other lock, with vice-captain Courtney Lawes on the blindside flank, Tom Curry at openside and Ben Earl at No.8.

Scrum half Alex Mitchell continues his partnership with Farrell, as does Manu Tuilagi and Joe Marchant in the midfield. Elliot Daly continues on the left wing, with Jonny May on the right.

Theo Dan, Ellis Genge (vice-captain), Kyle Sinckler, Ollie Chessum, Billy Vunipola, Danny Care, George Ford (vice-captain) and Ollie Lawrence, make up a strong and experienced bench.

“After an excellent few days preparation in Paris, we look forward to the challenge of playing the World Champions and number one ranked team in the world,” said Borthwick.

“Through this tournament the team has progressed, with the players repeatedly finding a way to win, sometimes in challenging circumstances. We will once again need to be at our very best this weekend as we face an excellent team in South Africa.

“There is no doubt the players will truly relish the challenge of knockout rugby under the lights in Paris. These players will, as they have done in every game of this tournament, give absolutely everything in the semi-final to get the result we want.”

England team to face the Springboks:
15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 29 caps)
14. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 77 caps)
13. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 24 caps)
12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 57 caps)
11. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 63 caps)
10. Owen Farrell – captain (Saracens, 110 caps)
9. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 10 caps)
8. Ben Earl (Saracens, 23 caps)
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 48 caps)
6. Courtney Lawes – vice-captain (Northampton Saints, 104 caps)
5. George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 8 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 74 caps)
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 105 caps)
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 83 caps)
1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 87 caps)
16. Theo Dan (Saracens, 6 caps)
17. Ellis Genge – vice-captain (Bristol Bears, 56 caps)
18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 67 caps)
19. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 16 caps)
20. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 74 caps)
21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 94 caps)
22. George Ford – vice-captain (Sale Sharks, 89 caps)
23. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 19 caps)

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