England v South Africa: Wasps centre Elliot Daly set for first international start

Wasps centre Elliot Daly set to start for England against South Africa

Daly came off the bench in the final two Tests of the series win against Australia last summer

Wasps centre Elliot Daly is set to be given his first international start when England host South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday.

Daly, 24, has won five caps as a replacement, but is now set to start at outside centre against the Springboks.

His promotion to the starting XV would see Bath’s Jonathan Joseph drop out, with Daly forming a new midfield partnership with Owen Farrell.

Head coach Eddie Jones will name his starting line-up on Thursday morning.

Joseph, 25, had been struggling with a minor groin injury, but was declared fully fit by scrum coach Neal Hatley on Wednesday.

He started all three Tests in England’s series whitewash of Australia last summer, and it will be the first time he has been dropped since re-establishing himself during the 2015 Six Nations.

Former England captain Mike Tindall told BBC Radio 5 live that Daly’s likely debut was not a big shock.

“I was lucky to play with him at Barbarians – he’s just got a fantastic skill-set and the ability to beat people,” said Tindall.

“Elliot is a little bit more classy. He will beat you by subtlety rather than when Jonathan Joseph will stand up and go around you.”

Northampton flanker Tom Wood is set to make his first England appearance in over a year, while wing Jonny May will also feature for the first time under Jones.

England, looking for their first win against the Springboks in 12 fixtures spanning a decade, will trim two players from the 25-man squad named on Tuesday.

South Africa are experiencing their worst run of results for a decade after losing five of their past nine matches, including a record home defeat by New Zealand.

Former Springbok Hennie le Roux believes the visitors are “ripe for the taking”.

But Hatley said: “They have been in a state of flux, but when they’ve played well they have been very impressive. We’re expecting a good side to turn up.”

England squad to face South Africa

Forwards: Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks), Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Tommy Taylor (Wasps), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints).

Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Marland Yarde (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

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