England: Hugh Tizard retained with Jack Willis left out as Eddie Jones names 26-man squad ahead of Springboks clash

Saracens forward Hugh Tizard Credit: Alamy
Saracens forward Hugh Tizard Credit: Alamy

England head coach Eddie Jones has cut his squad down to 26 players as they prepare for their Autumn Nations Series game against South Africa.

Joe Heyes, Sean Robinson, Jack Singleton, Jack Willis (unattached), Joe Cokanasiga, George Furbank, Will Joseph, Alex Mitchell, Cadan Murley and Adam Radwan are released back to their respective clubs, it was confirmed by the Rugby Football Union.

That means Jones has opted to keep the matchday 23 that drew with New Zealand plus Bevan Rodd, Hugh Tizard and Tommy Freeman in this group.

England eager to build on superb All Blacks finish

England come into the clash with South Africa on the back of that come-from-behind thriller with the All Blacks while the Boks hammered Italy 63-21.

It will be interesting to see what changes Jones makes to his starting XV, with the likes of Mako Vunipola, Will Stuart, David Ribbans and Ben Youngs all impressing off the bench last weekend while Jack van Poortvliet in particular had a tough afternoon.

Elsewhere, Manu Tuilagi now looks set to earn his 50th cap but it remains to be seen whether that will be from the outset or via the bench, with England careful not to burn out one of their star players. If he was benched, Guy Porter would likely come in.

There is also debate over whether Maro Itoje will return to the back-row against the taller Boks this weekend after starting at lock against New Zealand.

“We probably need three jumpers against South Africa. It is going to be a higher kicking game so we’ll have a look at that,” Jones said over the weekend.

Evan Roos starts at number eight for Springboks

England face a South Africa team that includes Evan Roos at number eight after the Springboks named their side for the Autumn Nations Series finale.

There are eight changes and two positional tweaks made by head coach Jacques Nienaber as South Africa shuffle their deck for this mouth-watering clash.

Six of those alterations come in the starting XV as Jesse Kriel (centre), Makazole Mapimpi (wing), Roos (number eight) and Eben Etzebeth (lock) come in.

The other two changes in the side are positional as Damian de Allende moves to inside centre alongside Kriel while Kurt-Lee Arendse is on the right wing.

These two sides last met in November, 2021 when England gained revenge for their 2019 Rugby World Cup final loss by winning 27-26 at Twickenham.

England’s 26-man squad ahead of South Africa game

Forwards: Alex Coles, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, David Ribbans, Bevan Rodd, Sam Simmonds, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart, Hugh Tizard, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola

Backs: Owen Farrell, Tommy Freeman, Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Guy Porter, Henry Slade, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Manu Tuilagi, Jack van Poortvliet, Ben Youngs

READ MORE: Springboks: Evan Roos gets nod at number eight for blockbuster game against England

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