Brad Shields is on course for a place in England’s starting XV with Joe Launchbury’s prospects of being fit for a comeback in the second Test fading.

Lock Launchbury, suffering from a calf injury, is yet to train with the Roses as they gear up for the second Test against South Africa in Bloemfontein on Saturday after also missing the first match at Ellis Park.

If he doesn’t recover in time for the clash, flanker Shields might come into the starting XV as a lock.

Nick Isiekwe started in the second row alongside Maro Itoje last weekend and despite being taken off before half-time, without an injury, the official line is that he is in contention to be selected in the starting pack again this week.

Assistant coach Neal Hatley explains: “If it comes down to that, he [Shields] got close to 45 minutes in the second row anyway.

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