England coach Eddie Jones has called upon the Polynesian muscle of Ben Te’o and Nathan Hughes as England plot to end their 10-year wait for a victory over South Africa.
The centre and backrow, who were born in New Zealand and Fiji respectively, have been named in Jones’ wider 25-man squad for Saturday’s clash with the Springboks at Twickenham.
With five openside flankers ruled out by injury, Hughes could be drafted in as the solution to England’s No.7 problem but Northampton’s Tom Wood is tipped to start.
Jones previously suggested that Teimana Harrison would be named in the backrow, but the 24-year-old was one of eight players sent home from their training spot Pennyhill Park on Tuesday night.
Fullback Alex Goode, winger Semesa Rokoduguni and centre Henry Slade were also among the casualties, with Jones set to release two more players before the weekend.
The Roses coach has kept hooker Tommy Taylor to provide injury cover for Jamie George and Dylan Hartley, who missed the start of the season with a back injury.
Second rows Josh Beaumont and Dave Attwood will also remain in camp temporarily, with England’s medical team monitoring a knee injury to second rows Josh Beaumont and Dave Attwood will also remain in camp temporarily, with Jones’s medical team monitoring a knee injury to Courtney Lawes.
Forwards: Dave Attwood, Josh Beaumont, Dan Cole, Jamie George, Dylan Hartley, Nathan Hughes, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Chris Robshaw, Kyle Sinckler, Tommy Taylor, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Tom Wood.
Backs: Mike Brown, Danny Care, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May, Ben Te’o, Marland Yarde, Ben Youngs.