England Tour of South Africa: Stevens out as Tuilagi awaits judgement

Matt Stevens will miss England's tour of South Africa

Blow for England ahead of South Africa tour as prop is ruled out through injury and Tuilagi is sited for dangerous tackle...

England play their first of three Tests against the Springboks on Saturday June 9

Matt Stevens will miss England's tour of South Africa due to a shoulder injury he sustained in Sunday's win over the Barbarians. He will be replaced by Gloucester's Rupert Harden.

The Red Rose thumped the Baa-Baas 57-26 at Twickenham as Chris Ashton ran in a hat-trick and uncapped winger Christian Wade also scored. Ex-captain Mike Tindall crossed the whitewash for the visitors against an England side that was without any of those who took part in Saturday's Aviva Premiership Grand Final.

The result gave England a satisfying boost ahead of their three match tour of South Africa. However, the news that Saracen's prop Stevens will not make the trip is a big blow, especially as the Red Rose are waiting to hear if Manu Tuilagi will make the trip. He's been cited for a dangerous 'tip tackle' on Harlequins' Danny Care in Saturday's final.

Stuart Lancaster is being positive, however, describing Stevens' absence as a "great opportunity" for Harden. He's been in good form for Gloucester this season and his performances for the Saxons during the Six Nations suggested that he could be ready to make the step up to the first team.

England play their first of three Tests against the Springboks on Saturday June 9 with subsequent Tests taking place on the following two Saturdays. During the tour you'll be able to read betting advice and opinions from Betfair Ambassador Will Greenwood so make sure you follow England here. On Thursday, one of our rugby correspondents will be discussing England's chances of winning in a country where northern hemisphere teams have traditionally struggled.

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