Brad Shields is set to earn his first start for England after lock Joe Launchbury was again forced to miss training due to an ongoing calf injury.
The 27-year-old Launchbury was ruled out of the first Test and while England were hopeful that he would recover in time for their must-win game in Bloemfontein, they suffered a setback when the lock sat out team practice on Tuesday.
‘We’ll see where he is later in the week. We’ll see if he’s able to train tomorrow. We need to see how he feels after seeing the physios,’ said England’s forwards coach Neal Hatley.
New Zealand-born Shields is poised to start in the second row if Launchbury is ruled out, even though he has not started a game at lock in over four years for the Hurricanes.
‘We feel with Brad and people like that, we have got lock cover,’ said Hatley. ‘If it comes down to that [he could start]. He got close to 45 minutes in the second row [in the first Test] anyway,’ Hatley explained.
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