Freeman, Coles to start for England against SA

11:43 AM GMT

England’s Tommy Freeman will start as right wing against South Africa in their final November Test on Saturday while Alex Coles comes in as blindside flanker in the team named by coach Eddie Jones on Thursday.

Freeman has been in the training squad throughout November and finally gets his chance to add to his two caps in place of Jack Nowell, who is named among the replacements.

Coles, who made his debut as lock against Argentina three weeks ago, is in for Sam Simmonds, who also moves to the bench.

In two other pack changes prop Mako Vunipola and hooker Jamie George move to the starting team, swapping places with replacements Ellis Genge and Luke Cowan-Dickie.

England will be desperate to end their November series with a win after their comeback draw against New Zealand, a convincing victory over Japan and an opening defeat by Argentina.

“This is our last game of the autumn and our chance to continue building on the improvements we have made throughout the matches,” Jones said.

“We have made steady progress from game to game, culminating in a pulsating draw against New Zealand. Now we have the chance to test ourselves against the might of the world champions.

“We’re going out there to light the crowd up. The support at Twickenham was outstanding last week and we want to work hard on the pitch to make sure we have another atmosphere like that again on Saturday.”

South Africa named their team earlier in the week and were forced into a series of changes after their English and French-based players were forced to rejoin their clubs because Saturday’s game falls outside the international Test window.

The Rugby Football Union has an arrangement with the Premiership clubs to allow player release.

Last year England edged the Twickenham fixture with South Africa by a point, one of three wins in their last four meetings — the defeat being in the 2019 World Cup final.

England team to face South Africa: Freddie Steward, Tommy Freeman, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell (captain), Jonny May, Marcus Smith, Jack van Poortvliet, Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Alex Coles, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, David Ribbans, Sam Simmonds, Ben Youngs, Henry Slade, Jack Nowell.

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