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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 May 2007, 08:26 GMT 09:26 UK
Farrell and Richards miss SA Test
Andy Gomarsall trains with England in South Africa
Gomarsall has enjoyed a new lease of life since moving to Harlequins
Saturday, 26 May
Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 1400 BST
Live on BBC Radio Five Live and BBC Sport website

England have been forced into two more late changes before Saturday's first Test against South Africa.

Centre Andy Farrell and scrum-half Peter Richards are the latest victims of the stomach virus sweeping the camp.

Farrell is replaced by Toby Flood, while Andy Gomarsall, 32, comes in for Richards for his first Test since 2004.

Prop Nick Wood and wing David Strettle have already had to be replaced, while Shaun Perry, Anthony Allen and James Simpson-Daniel come onto the bench.

Gloucester's Wood, who was to make his England debut in Bloemfontein, tore a chest muscle in training and will play no part in either Test against the Springboks.

"I feel sorry for Nick because he has a really good Premiership season and has fully deserved an opportunity to play," England coach Brian Ashton told BBC Radio Five Live.

He has been replaced by Saracens' Kevin Yates, who wins his first England cap for 10 years.

The 34-year-old won his last cap against Argentina in 1997, and breaks John Bentley's England record of nine years and 44 days for the longest wait between caps.

"I never gave up hope," said Yates, whose England career was curtailed when he received a six-month ban for biting the ear of London Scottish flanker Simon Fenn during a domestic cup game in 1998.

Fenn required 25 stitches but Yates has always maintained his innocence

Strettle, meanwhile, was hospitalised with the virus on Wednesday, and sees his place go to Iain Balshaw.

"I obviously feel for David as it is his first tour, but Iain is an experienced player and will do a good job for us," Ashton said.

"The virus seems to vary in its intensity. Some players have been sick, some players have just had stomach cramps. Some have recovered within 24 hours but others have taken a couple of days and they are still not feeling much better."

Saracens' Dan Scarbrough and Bath prop Matt Stevens have joined the squad as additional cover.

Wing Scarbrough has flown in from England Saxons duty, while South African-born Stevens flew by private jet from his parents' home in Cape Town.

The injuries and illness are just the latest blow for Ashton, who is already fielding a massively under-strength team with about 30 first-choice players missing.

The struggling world champions have not won away from Twickenham for 15 months, while South Africa will go into the match in Bloemfontein on a high after two of their teams fought out the Super 14 final on Saturday.

South Africa v England (Sat)
25 May 07 |  English
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23 May 07 |  Rugby Union
Regan says England can be heroes
23 May 07 |  English
England hand out three new caps
22 May 07 |  English
Dawson queries Wilkinson call-up
18 May 07 |  English
England 'upbeat' in South Africa
17 May 07 |  English
Shirts through the years
15 May 07 |  Rugby Union
Simpson-Daniel eager to impress
15 May 07 |  English
Balshaw replaces Cohen for tour
08 May 07 |  English
Cohen out of SA tour & World Cup
04 May 07 |  English
SA tour unfair on England - Catt
03 May 07 |  English
Robinson to captain England squad
01 May 07 |  Rugby Union
Catt injury adds to England woes
27 Apr 07 |  English


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