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Francis in England 23 for first South Africa Test

Northampton Saints centre Piers Francis has been named on the bench by head coach Eddie Jones as England prepare to take on the Springboks on Saturday.

The tour of South Africa begins in earnest at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday, kick off 16.05 BST, with two more Tests to follow in Bloemfontein and Cape Town.

"We want to do something special on this tour and the players are all incredibly excited about this challenge and opportunity we have."

Eddie Jones (England head coach)

Francis is included after impressing in the Red Rose’s starting XV against the Barbarians last weekend, and will hope to make an impact off the bench as one of Jones’ “finishers”.

Eddie Jones said: “We have had a really good week in preparation for this weekend and we are pleased with the way the squad has come together.

“We want to do something special on this tour and the players are all incredibly excited about this challenge and opportunity we have.

“Ellis Park is the spiritual homeland of South African rugby and the Springboks play to another level on that ground, so we know we have to raise our game physically early on and be enormously accurate in the way we play.”

England Squad
15 Elliot Daly (Wasps, 18 caps)
14 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 34 caps)
13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 10 caps)
12 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 58 caps)
11 Mike Brown (Harlequins, 69 caps)
10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 45 caps)
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 74 caps)

1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 49 caps)
2 Jamie George (Saracens, 25 caps)
3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 10 caps)
4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 19 caps)
5 Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, 2 caps)
6 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 64 caps)
7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 1 cap)
8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 34 caps)

Finishers:
16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 5 caps)
17 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 56 caps)
18 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 8 caps)
19 Brad Shields (Hurricanes/ Wasps, 0 caps)
20 Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 14 caps)
21 Ben Spencer (Saracens, 0 caps)
22 Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 3 caps)
23 Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks, 2 caps)

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