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Will Greenwood: Why Eddie Jones had no choice but to drop Chris Robshaw vs South Africa

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England lost the first test vs South Africa last week despite holding a 21-point lead in the match and, unsurprisingly, coach Eddie Jones has made a big change.

That change is dropping Chris Robshaw - the first time Jones has done that when the 32-year-old has been fit to play.

Robshaw, who was England captain for three years between 2012 and 2015, will make way for New Zealand-born Brad Shields, who has joined Wasps ahead of the 2018-19 season.

Shields will be making his first start for England having made his international debut in the first test, while Robshaw doesn't even make the 23-man squad.

One man who does, however, is Danny Cipriani - his first inclusion in four years.

"We are looking for something a little bit different to finish the game, which he can bring," Jones said of Cipriani.

"He's been training well and doing everything that has been asked of him."

Former World Cup winner Will Greenwood gave his thoughts on Robshaw's exclusion to Sky Sports, believing Jones had little choice but to leave him out.

"Chris Robshaw's form hasn't been of the quality that Chris Robshaw would expect," said Greenwood.

"Eddie [Jones] clearly has decided the Barbarians game was a non-event because if he counted it and looked at Chris Robshaw's performance in that game, he would have been doing very well to be picked for the first Test. So he gave him the benefit of the doubt.

South Africa v England

"He falls between two stools does Robshaw: he is very good at everything, but what's he world class at? And I just think Eddie Jones has thought Shields will come in and be more dynamic.

"Robshaw's carries were numerous last week, and I've watched the game again, but they weren't as impactful as you would like.

"So the challenge is [Tom] Curry is young, and he played well, Billy Vunipola is non-negotiable - you play him into fitness. So, if you get beat in and around the breakdown, there's one more lad to go and that finger gets pointed at Robshaw.

"The interesting thing here is [Mark] Wilson is on the bench and not Robshaw. I think Eddie's [Jones] just looking at the Highveld, at De Klerk and [Willie] Le Roux and thinks he needs more pace."

It's a defining decision from Jones, although maybe not such a difficult one. If England perform better in the second test, Robshaw may have some real trouble getting back in.

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Topics:
South Africa Rugby
England Rugby
Danny Cipriani
Chris Robshaw
Rugby Union

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