Care and Haskell return with six changes to England line up
Rugby:Danny Care and James Haskell will make their long-awaited international returns in England’s third Test against South Africa on Saturday.
The pair were both included as head coach Stuart Lancaster named a team containing six personnel changes for the clash at Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Scrum-half Care was dropped earlier this year following a series of off-field incidents, while flanker Haskell has not played since the World Cup last autumn after opting to play domestic rugby in Japan and New Zealand.
Prop Alex Corbisiero and lock Tom Palmer also return, while number eight Thomas Waldrom and full-back Alex Goode come in for their first full caps.
Care has been preferred to Lee Dickson, who is on the bench, after injury to Ben Youngs necessitated a change at scrum-half. The 25-year-old Harlequins half-back impressed on his one previous outing on the tour against the Southern Barbarians in Kimberley last week.
Haskell’s opportunity has arisen after influential captain Chris Robshaw was forced out of the match with a broken thumb. He will take the openside role with Palmer coming in for Mouritz Botha. Waldrom replaces Ben Morgan at the back of the scrum while Corbisiero, now fully recovered from a biceps operation and a knee injury, takes over from Joe Marler at loosehead.
Goode’s elevation to the team sees Ben Foden switch back to the wing from full-back with David Strettle dropping out.
“I am really pleased for Alex. He has worked hard in training and has been pushing Mike Brown and Ben Foden close so we are looking forward to him bringing his footballing skills to this Test,” said Lancaster.
“Danny Care, likewise, has bided his time in a very competitive position, knuckled down and deserves his chance, as has James Haskell, who has played this season for the Highlanders at number seven.
“We felt that the pack got some momentum in the second half last week so we have gone for Alex and Tom but I am sure Joe Marler and Mo Botha can make an impact from the bench.”
Centre Brad Barritt, who needed stitches in a cut eyeball after the first Test, returns on the bench. England are looking for a consolation win after defeats in the first two Tests in Durban and Johannesburg.