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Ewels and Mercer in England squad to face South Africa

1 November 2018

Bath Rugby's Charlie Ewels and Zach Mercer have been among the replacements for England's first Test of the Quilter Internationals against South Africa on Saturday, kick-off 15:00. 

Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints) and Owen Farrell (Saracens) are named as co-captains in a starting XV which includes 413 caps.
 
Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs) will make his starting debut for England while uncapped players Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby) and Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs) are named as finishers.
 
George Kruis (Saracens), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) and Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors) are included for the first time since last season’s Six Nations.

Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers) is named as a finisher having last played for England against Wales in the 2016 Six Nations.
 
On England’s preparation ahead of Saturday, Jones said: “We’ve become very well organised in our set piece and have done a lot of good work in Portugal over the last week. We have put in a new defence system and our attack looks more organised than it was on the South Africa tour.”
 
On taking on South Africa Jones said: “Against South Africa you have got the physical battle up front and then you have to be tactically smart in how you attack against them. We need to find ways to gain momentum, then once we find momentum, convert that to points. 
 
“We are really excited to be back at Twickenham Stadium. It’s been a long time and we can’t wait to play in front of 82,000 fans.”
 
England team to face South Africa 

15. Elliot Daly (Wasps, 21 caps)
14. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 26 caps)
13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 13 caps)
12. Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors, 13 caps)
11. Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 37 caps)
10. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 61 caps) co-captain
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 77 caps)  
1. Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs, 2 caps)
2. Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 93 caps) co-captain
3. Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 13 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 22 caps)
5. George Kruis (Saracens, 25 caps)
6. Brad Shields (Wasps, 2 caps)
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 4 caps)
8. Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 4 caps)
 
Replacements 

16. Jamie George (Saracens, 28 caps)
17. Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped)
18. Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 11 caps)
19. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 6 caps) 
20 Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 81 caps)
22. George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 47 caps)
23. Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 26 caps)

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