England collapse as South Africa condemn Eddie Jones' men
Eddie Jones admitted that England's loss to South Africa was "entirely his fault", with the head coach's side booed off the Twickenham pitch after their worst autumn campaign in 13 years.
Jones is under mounting pressure after England ended their four November internationals with just one win following a comprehensive defeat to the Springboks - who played the last 20 minutes with 14 men - which captain Owen Farrell described as "lacking a bit of bite".
South Africa, despite not having any of their European-based players available for selection, joined Argentina in defeating England at Twickenham this autumn, while a draw with New Zealand and win over Japan did little to salvage the campaign in terms of results.
Saturday's lacklustre loss - the Springboks' first at the home of English rugby since 2014 - consigned England to their worst autumn campaign since 2009, when they lost to Australia and the All Blacks but defeated the Pumas.
England end 2022 with just five wins from 12 matches - plus a defeat to the Barbarians resulting in their worst calendar year since 2008 - and with the World Cup in France just a year away, Jones' side have been left playing catch up to their rivals.
"We didn’t play well today, I apologise for that, it is entirely my fault and I take full responsibility," Jones said after England's second heaviest home defeat to the Springboks. "We are judged by results but I feel there is growth in the team which wasn’t evident today.
“I think it is a bit of a watershed game for us and we came into it with high expectations on how we wanted to play on the back of Japan and New Zealand. This game, South Africa were a bit too tough in the scrum and in the air and I know where we have to improve.
“Are we moving in the right direction towards the World Cup? Yes we are. I don’t care what other people think. Obviously, we are disappointed with our performance but there are 11 months to the World Cup and I have no doubt we will rise to the occasion. We just didn’t fire a shot as we wanted today.
“You have to win contests against the Springboks and we didn’t win the air or the set piece. We lost two of the key contests and we have to improve in those areas.”
Jones' captain, Owen Farrell, who missed two routine kicks at goal in the first half, added: "[There was] a lack of accuracy at times and probably a bit of bite at times. The game was fairly slow at the start which they are very good at and we didn't sink our teeth into anything - much like the Argentina game. We have to be better in those situations."
England lost Will Stuart (elbow), Marcus Smith (ankle) and Kyle Sinckler (hip) to injuries in the second half of a chastening evening in south-west London.
"It was just one of those days where nothing seemed to go right," Jones added.
England struggled both aerially and at the scrum against a muscular South African side, with Jones imploring his side to develop consistency.
"We are disappointed to have lost the air and the scrum battle, and when you lose those contests it's hard to get into the game," Jones said.
"Test rugby is all about consistency; to be consistent in your basics. We had been really fantastic in the air until today but for some reason we weren't. And, sometimes, that can be a system problem in your team, other times it can be individuals having days off. We couldn't get in the game today and we need to find more ways [to do that].
"On results we're not happy but we're building a really good base to have a good go at the World Cup. We're not far away."
Jacques Nienaber, South Africa's head coach, heaped praise on an all-round "team effort" as the Springboks registered their second win of the autumn after victory in Rome last weekend followed losses against Ireland and France.
"Our forwards were outstanding and the backs used their opportunities when they got that good platform," he said. "It was a team effort.
"It was a stern challenge. We needed to get our stuff right on the day. I don't even know what the scoreline was but it was a humdinger right up until the end. We all saw what England were capable of last weekend - they came back - so we knew they had ability in them. You are never comfortable and we actually pushed hard to get another score because we felt it was too close."
"It's 11 months until the World Cup and a lot can happen."
Eddie Jones speaks to Amazon Prime.
We are disappointed we didn't play how we wanted to. We did a few things at the start of the game and got a bit disappointed and dropped our energy a bit. It took until the game had gone to start playing how we wanted to. South Africa do things to you that are sometimes difficult to deal with. In the first half, they won all the air and we were on the back foot all the time. We have to win the air, particularly on a day like today, and we didn't.
We are disappointed with our performance today but it's 11 months until the World Cup and a lot can happen. We will rise to the occasion and we have a good group of players but we didn't land a shot like we wanted to today. You have to win contests. We didn't win the air or the set-piece so it's hard to get in the game. We lost two of the key contests but we will improve in those areas. Results tell you everything and that is what we are judged by but I feel like there is growth in the team, which we have seen, but wasn't evident today.
I think about where we are going towards a World Cup. Obviously we want to win games and be successful but are we moving in the right direction? Yes we are.
I have coached for a number of years and I believe I can coach well. People will say what they say, and there are ups and downs in sport but we didn't play well today and I apologise for that, it's entirely my fault.
England captain Owen Farrell reacts
on Amazon Prime.
It has not worked out for ourselves today and we were not able to show the best of ourselves but we have put in some good work over the past five weeks and we have to make sure that is not for nothing.
"We lacked a bit of accuracy and bite at times. The game was really slow to start which they are very good at. We didn't get our teeth stuck in much like that Argentina game, we must learn to do better.
"My ankle is alright it was just a couple of bad kicks. We are hurting but this team will learn from it and come back strong."
Manu Tuilagi speaks after reaching 50 caps for England
On Amazon Prime.
It's a really proud day for me and my family to be able to represent his great country 50 times. I never dreamed of doing such a thing and it's an honour.
It was a tough game. We wanted to come out and attack, which I thought we did at the start but the Springboks were tough and physical and they put a lot of pressure on us. They forced us to make mistakes and they capitalised on it.
The plan was clear but South Africa are a quality side and they put us under a lot of pressure. We weren't good enough today and we have to take it on the chin. We are building nicely. Sometimes it's hard for people to see that but we definitely believe in that.
South Africa captain Siya Kolisi reacts
On Amazon Prime.
It is a big relief for us. We have been working really hard over the past few months. I know some results haven't gone our way but the way we play but we are still grateful to get the kind of support we are getting from back home.
England were tough at the beginning but we just stuck to our guns and tweaked a few things. We will risk it all as it is worth it - we need to find answers before the World Cup but at the same time respecting England.
It is not that much of a difference but we are just seeing opportunities which we didn't in the past.
Player of the match Franco Mostert speaks
on Amazon Prime.
We knew it would be tough and we worked hard this week. Credit to the England boys, it was a tough match but we will enjoy the win.
"It was a hard game but hats off to our forwards. we had some big conversations with each other this week and it paid off. If you lose by two point against Ireland or France, it is never good to lose, but you learn so much out if it. Hopefully we will do well next year."
FT: England 13 South Africa 27
The ball is booted out of the play and that's full time at Twickenham.
Such a frustrating game for England who were second-best again in all areas and no last-gasp comeback to paper over the apparent cracks,
Full credit to South Africa, they were superb and full value in their dominant victory.
There were a small smattering of boos around Twickenham as the full-time whistle blew.
79 min: England 13 South Africa 27
The visitors knock the ball on in midfield and England will have the scrum, with the clock in red.
South Africa have won this won, but can England reduce the deficit?
I spoke too soon, as it is a South Africa penalty was Jonny Hill is pinged for lifting over the top of the ruck.
77 min: England 13 South Africa 27
Eddie Jones is forced into a late front row change, with Will Stuart having to go off with a right-arm injury and Ellis Genge returning to the fray to ensure the scrums can continue to be contested.
Sinckler back on for Stuart for England. We should menition that Hendrikse replaced the injured De Klerk for South Africa and Roos came back on due to that Kolisi HIA.
Farrell then kicks short from the drop-out and it results in the hosts gaining a penalty as the Springboks infringe at the breakdown.
75 min: England 13 South Africa 27
England are trying to play from the deep in their own half, but it is excellent pressure from South Africa who force a knock-on by Henry Slade.
It's a scrum to the Springboks ten metres from England's try-line and the visitors attack from the scrum and work the ball out to Willemse who finds himself on the left-wing.
73 min: England 13 South Africa 27
We have had a long delay here at Twickenham for a serious looking injury to Faf de Klerk, who may need to be stretched off.
Then South African captain Siya Kolisi is leaving the field for a HIA assessment to.
71 min: England 13 South Africa 27
Try: Henry Slade
The visitors are are caught by the quick tap and England seize the chance, working the ball well across the field for replacement Henry Slade to finish.
Owen Farrell converts as well to bring England's deficit down to 14 points.
Are we going to see another stunning fightback for the second week in a row?
67 min: England 6 South Africa 27
Yet more frustration for England as South Africa repel the hosts and force a knock-on.
This really has been some display from the vistiors, it has to be said. So sharp in practically every area.
64 min: England 6 South Africa 27
England look certain to score as their attack moves left, but yet again they are halted and another lineout is then stolen by the Springboks.
It has been so sloppy from the hosts tonight and Eddie Jones is one unhappy man in the coaches box.
61 min: England 6 South Africa 27
Red card: Thomas du Toit
The Twickenham crowed are outraged after footage is show of a dangerous and nasty shoulder to the head of Luke- Cowan Dickie.
Du Toit is in major trouble and it has been a red card, all day long and it doesn't take much of a TMO review to confirm.
England will play the last 20 minutes with a man advantage. Can they capitalise?
Stay tuned to find out.
60 min: England 6 South Africa 27
Finally, we some excellent counter-play from England after Willie Le Roux is tackled after catching the ball and England have possession.
However, they are forced out by the visitors defence and knock with South Africa able to quickly counter to get on the attack deep in England territory.
But for England nothing comes of it and yet again they infringe at the breakdown.
57 min: England 6 South Africa 27
And what a kick from Faf de Klerk, who has rebounded very well from that early miss in the first half.
For South Africa, the scoreboard is ticking along nicely and they lead by 21 points with just over 20 minutes to play at Twickenham.
54 min: England 6 South Africa 25
A mistake from Willemse and that gives the hosts a scrum midway inside South Africa's half.
But, you have to say his is harrowing viewing from an England perspective now.
They seem to have nothing in response, with the visitors dominating every facet of the game.
50 min: England 6 South Africa 25
South Africa have their second try and De Allende powers down close to the line.
He is stopped short of the line but then it's quickly recycled by Etztebeth for the second row to force his way over under the posts.
Faf de Klerk is able to add the extras for South Africa.
48 min: England 6 South Africa 17
Yellow card: Tom Curry
More changes on both teams as South Africa bring on their "bomb squad." David Ribbings replaces club team-mate Alex Coles.
The hosts get their penalty as de Klerk is pinged for lying on at the tackle, but Jonny Hill' reaction sees the penalty reverse.
What a ridiculous penalty to give away and now England are audibly told they are still on a warning and a free kick is then aimed towards Mapimpi down the left channel.
Tom Curry is the latest man to give away the penalty and he is sent to the bin for 10 minutes.
46 min: England 6 South Africa 17
Finally some joy for England as the Sprinboks penalised for offside and Farrell slots over the kick to narrow the deficit for the hosts.
44 min: England 3 South Africa 17
Eddie Jones has really rung into the changes at half time, with an entirely new front row with with Ellis Genge, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Will Stuart replacing Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler.
And Jack Nowell is also on for Tommy Freeman on the wing.
42 min: England 3 South Africa 17
Drop goal: Willemse
He lands a second drop goal of this match soon after the restart to edge the Springboks further in front. Meanwhile, there's something kick off in back-play with Itoje and Etzebeth.
Read Ben Coles' piece on the battle between these two locks.
We're underway once more!
The referee blows his whilst and South Africa kick off to get the second half under way at the "home of rugby."
Read our report from the first game of the day as Australia came from 21 points behind to claim a sensational 39-34 victory over Wales
Half-time: England 3 South Africa 14
By Charles Richardson at Twickenham
And just like that - crash, bang, wallop - England are undone by a thrilling Bokke counter-punch.
The hosts have had their warnings; the kick that led to Kurt-Lee Arendse's try was the third - at least - of this half that was far too deep. It is meat and drink to the Springboks.
England are currently second best in the aerial battle here - which makes beating those athletic South Africa extremely tough.
40+1 min: England 3 South Africa 14
Faf de Klerk kicks the penalty to push South Africa ahead.
Willemese boots the ball into touch following the restart and referee Gardener signals the end of the first half.
A deserved lead for South Africa at the break and plenty of work for Eddie Jones's men to do.
37 min: England 3 South Africa 11
Tom Curry is penalised for an infringment at the line-out and now the referee tells Owen Farrell any further penalties in the 22 will lead to a yellow card for the hosts.
And South Africa chose to kick at the goal as De Klerk will try to make this an 11 point lead at the break as the clock ticks into the red.
34 min: England 3 South Africa 11
Here comes South Africa again with Ardense and Willemse running the ball but this time their attack comes to nothing,
However, an England knock on gives the visitors a scrum midway inside the hosts' half and they are also playing with a penalty advantage too.
32 min: England 3 South Africa 11
TRYYYYYY: Kurt-Lee Ardense
Wow- incredible from South Africa. Soon after the restart, England put in a kick and it's caught by Willemse, who then makes the break and releases Wille Le Roux.
He is supported in numbers by Ardense, who takes over possession after Le Roux draws in the England defence but is able to step Marcus Smith and race away for his sixth try in as many Test matches.
However, it goes unconverted though.
30 min: England 3 South Africa 6
The visitors are the working the ball well through the phases but finding themselves forced on the egdge of the 22 by England's defence each time.
Howver, Faf de Klerk flings a pass back to half-back partner Willemse and the fly-half slots over the three-pointer to put the visitors in front.
28 min: England 3 South Africa 3
Steward knocks on trying to take the ball from a kick and then Freeman catches but in a offside position, leading to a scrum to South Africa inside England's half for an accidental offside.
26 min: England 3 South Africa 3
The hosts are able to hold out but's not long before South Africa are back on the attack. England then put in a kick for an infringement on Spingboks players Bongi Mkonambi.
Jack van Poortvliet goes for a box kick just inside England's 22 and Eben Etzebeth gets a hand to the ball, but he can't charge it down and the ball goes into touch for a line-out to the hosts.
24 min: England 3 South Africa 3
Alex Coles is penalised again but this time for collapsing the maul and de Klerk kicks to touch again, giving the visitors a five-metre line-out.
Then another penalty goes against England as they are pinged for a side entry at the maul, this time by Jonny Hill. The referee then summons Owen Farrell that another infringement will result in a yellow card.
21 min: England 3 South Africa 3
The hosts immediately have the chance to retake the lead as South Africa concede a penalty following the restart.
Farrell is lining this one up from just under 40 metres out- but he drifts it wide again for England!
Unsurprisingly, the England captain is unhappy with that miss.
18 min: England 3 South Africa 3
The visitors have a line-out inside the host's 22 and they're playing with a penalty advantage as well.
Johnny May is able to defuse the danger from a kick into the in-goal but the play is brought back for a neck roll by Alex Coles.
The Springboks opt to kick at goal. There is no mistake from de Klerk this time either as the scrum-half draws South Africa level from close range.
16 min: England 3 South Africa 0
The hosts are shifting the ball quickly following the restart, but a forward pass as Owen Farrell tries to keep things alive for England but gives South Africa a scrum midway inside the hosts' half.
12 min: England 3 South Africa 0
Penalty for Engalnd
The next scrum seems to take an age to get set, with both front rows warned by the referee over not leaving enough of the gap.
It looked like Etzebeth had demolished Mako Vunipola and co there, but the penalty somehow goes England's way.
Farrell steps upa gain and atones for his earlier error, splitting the uprights with his second kick form the tee.
England lead 3-0.
9 min: England 0 South Africa
England have a scrum midway inside South Africa's half and they draw a penalty as the front row goes down.
Scotland great Doddie Weir has passed away
Some very sad news to bring you this evening.
Scotland player Doddie Weir has died at the age of 52, after suffering from motor neurone disease.
He was capped 61 times between 1990 and 2000 and helped raise millions through this My Name'5 Doddie Foundation.
Here at Twickenham, they have paid their own tribute.
The full story is here.
6 min: England 0 South Africa 0
De Klerk misses the penalty for South Africa and is wide of the mark though and England will drop out from inside their 22.
Then the visitors are penalised for the defence being offside at a line-out. It is pretty central, so no surprise Owen Farrell has chosen to kick at goal here.
But he has missed as well. Normally one you would expect the England captain to comfortably kick.
4 min: England 0 South Africa 0
South Africa edge the front row battle and win the free-kick and decide for another scrum. The next scrum folds again and the visitors win the penalty.
Faf de Klerk points at the sticks.
2 min: England 0 South Africa 0
It is a lively start here at Twickenham and there is an early turnover with some uncertainty from Freddie Steward. It's an uncharacteristic knock on which gives Freddie Stewart the put-in at the first scrum.
The anthems have been sung and the tracksuits have been stripped.
We're all set for the final Test of England's autumn campaign.
Owen Farrell hoists the ball to gets things started at Twickenham.
Anthems. You all know the schedule by now.
The teams are in the tunnel
The usual Twickenham pre-match might and pyrotechnic show is just drawing to a close! The atmosphere is bouncing as the players to emerge from the tunnel,
The waiting is nearly over and Manu Tulagi is the first to appear; a rousing reception as he appears in recognition of his 50th England Test cap. He is followed by the rest of players as the music blares, lights flashing and fire blasts!
Predictions for tonight?
Right, let's dive right in and have your score predictions in the comment section below!
The Rassie Erasmus factor
South Africa's director of rugby and content creator-in-chief won't be at Twickenham tonight. He is instead serving out the second week of a fortnight night ban from the Springbok matchday set-up.
Read Ben Coles' piece on how the constant criticism of referees feels unsustainable and how the tide is turning against South Africa's director of rugby.
"'We are looking forward to the challenge'
Speaking to Amazon Prime,
South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber
I think we are building on being contenders for the World Cup. Tonight will certainly go a long way to giving us answers on that.
Playing at Twickenham against England, an old foe, it has been a really tight game in the last few years so we are looking forward to the challenge. We have to be a creative in what we do and we try to build on our game in all facets and luckily for us, it ticked for us last week.
If you look at the director of any company, his job is to talk to stakeholders, fans and the media. So silencing a director is never a good thing."
Inside the England dressing room
Views from the South Africa camp- Jacques Nienaber
Speaking about his changes against England, the Springboks coach said "With this Test falling outside the international Test window, we knew we would have to make changes to the team, but we are pleased with the depth we have built in the wider squad in the last few months and it's paying off for us this week.
"Every player in this squad has played Test rugby and most of them have received game time at this level thanks to our selection play throughout the the season and games against Munster and Bristol.
"We are very excited to see what this group of players will do against the quality England side given the mix of talented young players who have been putting up their hands and the experienced guys who have come a long way to us over the last few years."
Views from the England camp- Eddie Jones
What does Eddie Jones have to say ahead of this one?
Talking about his front row changes, Jones acknowledged how influential South Africa's famed "bomb squad" has been in the 2019, which our senior rugby reporter Charlie Morgan analysed this week right here.
Speaking to the BBC Jones said "The concept of the "bomb squad" is something we want to experiment with, can we bring a more powerful front row on in the second half?
You look at the guys we have got here, Genge, Cowan-Dickie and Will Stuart- that is a powerful front row.,
Highlighting Tommy Freeman's role in the squad Jones said the plan was always to bring back the physical Freeman "We always wanted to get him back into the team."
We feel he has the potential to go and be a very good player for us. We like that pace in our back three and Tommy adds that."
The visitors have arrived
The England team have landed
Rewind to 2021
Last November was the last time these two sides met, with a Marcus Smith penalty proving the difference with just seconds remaining ensured England battled to a thrilling 27-26 victory over South Africa, ending their 2021 autumn campaign on a high.
Can we expect another Twickenham epic tonight?
Everything is on the line at Twickenham
By Charles Richardson, at Twickenham
One of these two sides, England and South Africa, will be departing south-west London with only a win over Italy or Japan to show for their autumn campaign, which, considering the stature of the duo, verges on unacceptable.
The conditions here at Twickenham are reasonable for the time of year, too, although heavy showers are forecast later. Those downpours have not arrived yet but South Africa, with their heavy artillery up front, will be hoping they come sooner rather than later. England are hardly lightweight but the last thing they will be hoping for is a wet-weather slobberknocker, especially with two of their grittier forwards - Ellis Genge and Luke Cowan-Dickie - sitting on the bench.
South Africa team news
Both sides have once again rotated their squad from last week. However, with the Springboks this was done more out of being forced too rather than desire. Unfortunately for coach Jacques Nienaber and South Africa, tonight's clash falls outside of the international test window resulting in European based players being unavailable for selection as they returned to their clubs.
In the pack breakout star Evan Roos gets the nod at number eight with Jasper Weise heading back to Leicester Tigers whilst Test centurion Eben Eztebeth returns in the secondrow. On the bench Thomas Du Toit comes in for Vincent Koch with backrow Marco van Staden joining him as the final forward's change.
Superstar winger Cheslin Kolbe has returned to Toulon whilst Andre Esterhuizen and Cobus Reinach have returned to Montpeiller and Harlequins respectively. In their places, comes in Makozole Mapimpi, Jessie Kriel and Jarden Hendrikse.
South Africa XV: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Kurt-Lee Ardense 13 Jesse Kriel 12 Damian de Allende 11 Makozole Mapimpi 10 Damian Willemse 9 Faf de Klerk 8 Evan Roos 7 Franco Mostert 6 Siya Kolisi 5 Marvin Orie 4 Eben Etzebeth 3 Frans Malherbe 2 Bongi Mbonambi 1 Ox Nche
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Jaden Hendrikse, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Canan Moodie
England team news
Eddie Jones has joined Jacques Nienaber in making several changes as he reshuffles his side following the 25-25 draws against New Zealand last weekend.
In total Jones has made four changes to his side, in the forwards Ellis Genge and Luke Cownan-Dickie are pushed to the bench in their place come the Saracens duo of Mako Vunipola and Jamie George,
In the backrow, Sam Simmonds drops to the bench in place of Alex Coles who is brought in as a line-out option to combat the Springboks giant jumpers.
England XV: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Tommy Freeman, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Jack van Poortvliet, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Alex Coles, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie Geroge, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Luke Cownan-Dickie 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 David Ribbans, 20 Sam Simmonds, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Henry Slade 23 Jack Nowell
Whilst the majority of teams are bidding farewell to 2022, there remains one big fixture to close out the rugby year once and for all.
A rematch between the 2019 World Cup finalists England and South Africa, a clash that will go a long way to defining whether this season has been a success or failure for both sides.
We know that in international rugby there are several grudge matches that feature England but no clash at the "home of rugby" is bigger than having the Springboks in town with the two nations enjoying an incredibly close fought series over the years.
Coming into this weekend's match up, the two teams are equally tied at 11 wins a piece with a singular draw at Twickenham whilst South Africa hold the advantage overall 26-16 across all venues.
Historically, both England and South Africa are renowned for their physicality and this year is no different with both sides possessing strong packs that are equal in measure in any game. Both their backlines are sprinkled with quick strike runners and creative minds in the halfback positions.
Both coaching staffs have been clear in their singular focus of developing squad depth ahead of the World Cup in France next year.
Eddie Jones has come under intense criticism for his continued tweaking of his England side as he seems undeterred by people calling him to pick players who would appear to be in better form rather those picked to play his system of play.
Meanwhile, Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber in conjunction with Director or Rugby Rassie Erasmus have at times this year felt the heat for their insistence on rotating the squad throughout the year.
This policy has yielded mixed results with the highs of battering the All Blacks 26-10 in round one of the Rugby Championship then being matched by losses in the same opponent a week later as well as a historic first ever lost to Wales in South Africa.
Whilst both sets of coaching staff have come in for criticism, it is important to note that these two sides contested in the World Cup final in 2019 using a similar policy.
Stay here for all the pre-match build up and live action with kick-off at 5.30pm (BST).