England v South Africa FORM GUIDE: Dylan Hartley is a pillar of experience but heads into this one a bit rusty while ‘The Beast’ Malcolm Marx will be visitors’ danger man
- England are favourites against South Africa but will face some in-form stars
- Malcolm Marx has been a beast recently and will carry a huge threat to England
- Dylan Hartley is a pillar of experience but heads into this Test match a bit rusty
England enter their autumn series opener against South Africa at Twickenham as favourites despite their current injury crisis.
Victory for Eddie Jones’ men will be pivotal for confidence with just a year to go before the World Cup in Japan.
South Africa however will be no walk in the park with some of their star players shining recently. Here, Sportsmail’s NIK SIMON assesses the form of both sets of players heading into Saturday’s clash.
Dylan Hartley has a wealth of experience but heads into this one with something to prove
Elliot Daly – 7.5
Replacement for Mike Brown who was dropped for the first time since 2015.
Jack Nowell – 7
Lost to Chris Ashton in golf competition, but won the selection battle.
Henry Slade – 7.5
More piano player than piano pusher with Te’o taking over the crash ball duty.
Ben Te’o – 5
Has played just 28 minutes this season. Will bring the power for England.
Ben Te’o has not played much this season but England will be relying on his power on Saturday
Jonny May – 8
Pace could be key if Farrell targets rookie full-back Willemse with high ball.
Owen Farrell – 8.5
Co-captain makes his third start at No 10 since Stuart Lancaster days.
Ben Youngs – 6.5
Set up a racehorse syndicate. His speed is key to keep away from Bok heavies.
Alec Hepburn – 6
Drives a ’50s Buick Skylark but could be in reverse gear against a heavy scrum.
Owen Farrell has been consistently brilliant this season and will co-captain England
Dylan Hartley – 6
Has 18 more caps than the rest of the pack put together. A pillar of experience.
Kyle Sinckler – 6
Conceded a pivotal penalty try in the second summer Test.
Maro Itoje – 8
Will be the king of England’s pack if he keeps up high-energy Saracens form.
George Kruis – 7
Lineout guru will look to get upper hand in absence of Franco Mostert.
Brad Shields – 6
Kiwi who is still adapting to the demands of the English game.
Maro Itoje Will be the king of England’s pack if he keeps up high-energy Saracens form
Mark Wilson – 8
A grafter, he has been working closely with England icon Dean Richards.
Tom Curry – 7.5
Compared to Neil Back and his breakdown work will be key to slowing the Boks.
Jamie George, Harry Williams, Ben Moon, Charlie Ewels, Zach Mercer, Danny Care, George Ford, Chris Ashton.
Damian Willemse – 6.5
Still so young, but the wonderkid is seen as a future Springbok No 10.
Sbu Nkosi – 7
Clocks 40 metres in 4.71 seconds and scored two tries on debut in June.
Jesse Kriel – 6.5
Worked with England defence coach John Mitchell so will know his ploys.
Damian de Allende – 7
Neutralised Sonny Bill Williams last month and will hope for similar performance.
Aphiwe Dyantyi – 8
Snubbed for school team. Now a nominee for the world newcomer award.
Damian de Allende neutralised Sonny Bill Williams last month and will hope for similar display
HandrE Pollard – 7.5
Sledgehammer boot key for No 10 who has endured a long injury spell.
Ivan van Zyl – 6
Strong box kicker who could struggle to fill the void left by Faf de Klerk.
Steven Kitshoff – 8
Flame-haired prop. Joe Marler calls him the world’s best scrummager. Marler
Malcolm Marx – 9
The new ‘Beast’ in the pack. A wrecking ball with turnover skills to boot.
Frans Malherbe – 7
The 19st 7lb giant will have a 35lb advantage over Hepburn at scrum time.
Malcolm Marx has been a phenomenal beast recently and will be South Africa’s danger man
Eben Etzebeth – 8
Enforcer with custom-order 75kg dumbbells and 19-inch biceps.
Pieter-Steph du Toit – 8
Broke down in tears after his MOTM display in recent win over All Blacks.
Siya Kolisi – 8
Township hero who is the face of the Rassie Erasmus revolution.
Warren Whiteley – 7.5
Ex-Springbok captain who says he is ‘not too familiar’ with Wilson.
duane Vermeulen – 8.5
Boks’ answer to Vunipola. U-turned on a move to Japan for the Boks.
Bongi Mbonambi, Thomas du Toit, Wilco Louw, RG Snyman, Lood de Jager, Embrose Papier, Elton Jantjies, Andre Esterhuizen.
duane Vermeulen will also be a huge threat to England is Boks’ answer to Billy Vunipola
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