South Africa v England: More misery in store for Eddie Jones' side
Simon Mail previews the final Test between South Africa and England with another defeat expected for Eddie Jones' strugglers...
"South Africa have beaten England by no more than 11 points in both of this series' matches and it has continued a trend of narrow victories. The Springboks' last seven wins over England have been by this margin and there is value in backing another tight success."
South Africa v England
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England searching for inspiration after series defeat
It has been a dreadful year for England and the pressure on coach Eddie Jones is intensifying after his side suffered their fifth successive Test defeat in the series loss to South Africa. It is six consecutive defeats in total, after the home loss to the Barbarians, which has left a huge amount of questions regarding England's dramatic decline over the last six months.
England looked unstoppable in the first two seasons under Jones as they recorded back-to-back Six Nations titles and won 18 consecutive matches. But this seems an awful long time ago and the way in which England have regressed this season is a major concern with just a little over a year until the World Cup starts.
The signs are England have already peaked under Jones and the Australian appears to be struggling to get his message across to the players. The side's discipline has been a huge problem, during the Six Nations and this series, with South Africa punishing their mistakes. England's latest defeat came in the 23-12 loss in Bloemfontein which ended with Mike Brown and Joe Marler arguing with fans.
Jones was criticised for only bringing on Danny Cipriani late in last week's defeat but he has handed the fly-half his chance this weekend as he makes his first England start since 2008. George Ford is left out of the squad while Joe Marler replaces Mako Vunipola after he returned home for his son's birth. Chris Robshaw comes in for the ill Brad Shields and forward Nathan Hughes replaces Billy Vunipola after he fractured his arm.
Springboks buoyant after successive wins
South Africa appeared to be in disarray at the end of last year but their fortunes have been dramatically improved since the arrival of head coach Rassie Erasmus. He has revitalised the side and his decision to bring in young talents such as winger Sibusiso Nkosi and give the captaincy to flanker Siya Kolisi has paid off handsomely in the first two Tests.
Erasmus is focused on preparing for next year's World Cup and has opted to make five changes ahead of the final Test in Cape Town. Fly-half Elton Jantjies replaces Handre Pollard while highly-rated full-back Warrick Gelant wins his fifth cap at the expense of Willie Le Roux. Andre Esterhuizen and Jesse Kriel form a new centre partnership while former Saracens hooker Schalk Brits could win his first cap since 2015 from off the bench.
South Africa have beaten England by no more than 11 points in both of this series' matches and it has continued a trend of narrow victories. The Springboks' last seven wins over England have been by this margin and there is value at 15/8 in backing another tight success. With wet and windy conditions forecast, the high-scoring from the opening match is unlikely and a confident South Africa are fancied to complete a clean sweep with a win by up to 12 points.
Despite England's woes, Jonny May has remained exceptionally consistent and underlined his status as the side's first choice winger. May has scored in his last five matches for England and has claimed a try in his last three games against South Africa. Regardless of whether England are beaten again, May is worth a bet to continue his scoring run.
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