Rugby Union

England vs. South Africa preview: Anthony Watson handed chance to shine

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England are looking to avoid back-to-back Autumn international defeats in what promises to be a hugely physical encounter with South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday.

Anthony Watson, 20, who plays for Bath, is set to make his first international Test start against the Springboks, on the right wing, in place of his injured team-mate Semesa Rokoduguni.

The Three Lions coach told BBC Sport: “Anthony has been pushing hard for a while and has been in impressive form for Bath and in training with us. It was great that he got on against New Zealand and we feel he is ready to start."

Watson asked to make huge step up

“He has all the physical and technical ability without a doubt. He is strong, tall, good in the air, he has got pace and good footwork, but he has only got one cap.

The Ashford-born winger/fullback has only tallied up one try so far this season for Bath, which came in their first win of the season against Sale.

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Previous Meetings

The fixture, which will see the Three Lions take on the Springboks, will be the 37th in their history with 19 of the match ups to be played at Twickenham.

South Africa will be firm favourites though, with an impressive record of 10-8 at the ground.

The form of both teams leading in to the fixture is questionable, with England losing to the top ranked team in the world, New Zealand by three points and the Springboks suffering an embarrassing defeat in the hands of Ireland by 14 points.

The match should be a cagey affair though, with a draw a being a major possibility between the sides.

England team to face South Africa:

Mike Brown (Harlequins); Anthony Watson (Bath), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Kyle Eastmond (Bath), Jonny May (Gloucester); Owen Farrell (Saracens), Danny Care (Harlequins); Joe Marler (Harlequins), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), David Wilson (Bath), Dave Attwood (Bath), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Tom Wood (Northampton), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens)


Rob Webber (Bath), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Kieran Brookes (Newcastle), George Kruis (Saracens), Ben Morgan (Gloucester), Ben Youngs (Leicester), George Ford (Bath), Marland Yarde (Harlequins)

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