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Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Thursday, 25 November 2010

England recall quartet to face South Africa

Autumn international
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 27 November 2010 Kick-off: 1430 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC 5 live & online; Highlights on BBC TV (Saturday, 1900-2000 GMT, BBC Three/BBC Sport website; Sunday, 1130-1230 GMT on BBC Two/BBC Sport website); Also live on Sky Sports 1

Tom Croft of England

England show four changes from the 26-13 Samoa victory (highlights above)

England have reverted to the team that secured a record-equalling victory over Australia for Saturday's Test against world champions South Africa.

Captain Lewis Moody returns at open-side as boss Martin Johnson makes four changes from the side which beat Samoa.

Mike Tindall is back at centre for Matt Banahan, who moves to the bench, Tom Croft returns at blind-side and Dan Cole comes in at tight-head prop.

Second row Simon Shaw replaces Dave Attwood among the replacements.

He is joined there by 6ft 7in Bath back Banahan, which means London Irish full-back Delon Armitage drops out of the 22 that defeated Australia 35-18 a fortnight ago.


Croft, a try scorer after coming on as a replacement in the 26-13 win over Samoa on Saturday, returns to the starting line-up in place of James Haskell.

Hendre Fourie, who impressed on the flank in Moody's absence against Samoa, is among the replacements.

Bar the addition of Banahan, the squad named is the same 22 that faced the Wallabies.

England are the team in better form going into the Twickenham encounter having won three of their past four games, their only defeat coming at the hands of the world's top ranked side, New Zealand.

South Africa's poor year continued as they lost to Scotland last time out, but they have won their past six meetings with England, a run that includes the 2007 World Cup final in Paris.

"It's going to be a big, big game. Obviously they're coming off a loss and there's been a lot of talk about where they are, but we've just got to concentrate on ourselves," said Johnson.

"I get a little bit concerned when people talk about the finished article... no way are we anywhere near the finished article.

I think everyone's looking forward to a full-blooded Test at Twickenham

England boss Martin Johnson

"It's a cracking game to be involved with - anytime you play South Africa you know the intensity is going to be there.

"This South Africa team has been around the block, they have a lot of pedigree and a lot of experience, that's what makes it the game it is.

"I think everyone's looking forward to a full-blooded Test at Twickenham."

Johnson also offered words of encouragement to Armitage, the only member of the 22-man squad that faced Australia to fail to make the cut.

"Delon is very much part of our squad going forward to next year and the World Cup," added Johnson.

"He's a Test match player, we know that, but we've got a very competitive team to get into, the back three especially.

"He would have loved more time to play. It hasn't really worked out for him, but that's no reflection on his form. He's been playing very well for his club but all the back-three guys have been playing very well."

England: B Foden (Northampton); C Ashton (Northampton), M Tindall (Gloucester), S Hape (Bath), M Cueto (Sale); T Flood (Leicester), B Youngs (Leicester); A Sheridan (Sale), D Hartley (Northampton), D Cole (Leicester), C Lawes (Northampton), T Palmer (Stade Francais), T Croft (Leicester), L Moody (Bath, capt), N Easter (Harlequins).

Replacements: S Thompson (Leeds), D Wilson (Bath), S Shaw (Wasps), H Fourie (Leeds), D Care (Harlequins), C Hodgson (Sale), M Banahan (Bath).

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see also
Croft warns of 'rampaging' Boks
23 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Springboks change two for England
23 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
England 26-13 Samoa
20 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
England 35-18 Australia
13 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Scotland 21-17 South Africa
20 Nov 10 |  Scottish
South Africa pair fail drug tests
15 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Habana out of South Africa tour
16 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Wales 25-29 South Africa
13 Nov 10 |  Welsh
England 16-26 New Zealand
06 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 21-23 South Africa
06 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union

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