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Page last updated at 15:08 GMT, Thursday, 20 November 2008

Sheridan to miss Springbok Test

Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 22 November Kick-off: 1430 GMT Coverage: Live on Sky Sports and BBC Radio 5 Live. Highlights on BBC Three (Saturday, 1910 GMT) and BBC Two (Sunday, 1510 GMT), BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website. Live text commentary on BBC Sport website

England prop Andrew Sheridan
Sheridan winces as he is led off the field in the game against Australia

England prop Andrew Sheridan has been ruled out of Saturday's Test against South Africa because of a neck injury.

Wasps front-rower Tim Payne has been promoted above replacement prop Matt Stevens to take Sheridan's place.

Sheridan suffered the injury during the loss to Australia last weekend and the Rugby Football Union says he is being rested "as a precaution".

There is one other change from the side that played the Wallabies, flanker James Haskell replacing Tom Croft.

The injury rounds off a disappointing week for Sheridan, who struggled for dominance against the Australian scrum as England slumped to a 28-14 defeat at Twickenham.

Sheridan, who demolished the Aussie set piece in 2005 and in last year's World Cup quarter-final, had a frustrating time at the hands of opposite number Al Baxter and ended up being replaced after 67 minutes.

He has been on "modified training" this week and was ruled of Saturday's game after failing to take part in Thursday's scrummaging session.

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The giant Sale prop is expected to be fit for England's final Test of the autumn against New Zealand a week on Saturday, 29 November.

Captain Steve Borthwick said: "Andrew Sheridan is a very important player to us but we also believe we have some great depth in props.

"We have the ability to bring Matt Stevens off the bench, Phil Vickery can also play either side. We have great flexibility and great power."

Payne has won eight caps for England, his last appearance coming on the summer tour to New Zealand, when he again deputised for Sheridan who had suffered a gash to the eye.

Haskell was the only change to manager Martin Johnson's starting XV when he named his team to face the world champions on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old was one of England's few successes on the ill-fated summer tour of New Zealand but struggled for form as Wasps made a poor start to the season.

Croft took his place for the Tests against the Pacific Islanders and Australia but the 6ft 4in, 18 stone Haskell offers a more physical presence in defence and as a ball-carrier around the fringes and impressed after coming on midway through the Australia defeat.

The Leicester flanker is now on the bench, where he is joined by Tigers team-mate Jordan Crane, as Michael Lipman drops out of the 22.


England: Armitage; Sackey, Noon, Flutey, Monye; Cipriani, Care; Payne, Mears, Vickery, Borthwick (capt), Palmer, Haskell, Rees, Easter.
Replacements: Hartley, Stevens, Shaw, Croft, Crane, Ellis, Flood.

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see also
South Africa forced into changes
20 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
Scrum must 'step it up' - Mears
19 Nov 08 |  English
Flanker Haskell back for England
18 Nov 08 |  English
Jeremy Guscott column
17 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
England 14-28 Australia
15 Nov 08 |  English
Scotland 10-14 South Africa
15 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
Wales 15-20 South Africa
08 Nov 08 |  Welsh
England 39-13 Pacific Islanders
08 Nov 08 |  English
England 6-15 South Africa
20 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
The Times Johnson hints at long-term plan - 38 hrs ago
The Times England manager drops hint at long-term plans - 41 hrs ago
Telegraph England recall James Haskell for South Africa clash at Twickenham - 47 hrs ago
Sky Sports Boks challenge excites Haskell - 48 hrs ago
Telegraph England recall Haskell - 50 hrs ago


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