GRAEME PEACOCK looks at five England players who could play a prominent role in the three-Test series against the Springboks in June.
It is six long years since England last toured South Africa, going down 2-0 in a three-match series, with a 14-14 draw in Port Elizabeth concluding the series.
Much has changed from a playing and coaching point of view since then.
Eddie Jones’ charges had been magnificent until an extremely disappointing Six Nations earlier this year where they finished fifth after successive losses to Scotland, France and Ireland.
England will be looking to make amends on this tour and Jones will tweak their playing resources with an eye on Japan next year.
The Harlequins tighthead prop will be looking to become a permanent fixture in the England No 3 jersey especially after the fact that Dan Cole will not be heading down south in June. Sinckler had a fantastic tour with the British & Irish Lions to New Zealand, moving ahead of Cole in the pecking order for the Test matches.
The 25-year-old is an abrasive front rower who carries the ball strongly and is aggressive in the loose. At scrum time, he more than holds his own but it’s at ruck time and ball carrying where he shines.
Sinckler plays it pretty close to the line in terms of discipline but this is where he adds his value to the side by not taking a step backwards in the loose exchanges and his aggression is a big part of his play. He is a really good player who looks to have an excellent career ahead of him and, being only in his mid-20s, he is still learning his trade. He has gained some great experience at his young age and will play a key part in South Africa.
Daly is an unbelievable athlete and is starting to enter the world-class category as a rugby player. He plays his rugby alongside Willie le Roux at Wasps and has had another superb season for his club side.
Daly could be labelled a utility player as he can play outside centre, fullback or wing. In the Red Rose, he has mainly been playing on the wing but was given the No 15 jersey in the recent match against the Barbarians.
The Wasps man has a great turn of pace and has scored eight tries in his 18 caps for England. Add to this a thunderous left boot, which is extremely effective out of hand as well as for poles when a long-range penalty is required.
Expect a big tour from Daly no matter where he slots in the backline.
Shields is a controversial selection for the tour to South Africa due to the fact that he is currently not based in England but is moving to Wasps for the new Premiership season.
He will be easily recognisable to South African rugby fans as he currently plies his trade in Super Rugby for the Hurricanes.
The former New Zealand U20 representative qualifies for England through his parents and the loose forward will be looking for a good first tour to impress coach Jones.
Shields, who is a combative loose forward, stands at 1.93m and is a good lineout option.
Jones is still looking to get his loose-trio combination right and the former Hurricane could be the missing piece of the jigsaw. He has a really good engine and will be used to the conditions in South Africa.
Shields has been previously named in the wider New Zealand training groups but feels that England would be the better choice to serve his international goals.
The Saracens pivot has been the understudy to Owen Farrell at club level and is looking to cement his place in the England squad in South Africa.
Lozowski can play flyhalf but has the potential to play in the centre position as well. He is extremely talented with ball in hand and has a great sidestep. The silky running pivot is no slouch with the boot either and is more than proficient when it comes to goal-kicking.
This tour may be a learning experience for the 24-year-old but it would not be a surprise to anyone up north if he managed to make the bench.
He is more of a player for the future but injuries may thrust him on to the fields in South Africa.
This is a youngster who has a huge future ahead of him. Curry was named Man of the Match against the Barbarians for England in 2017 at just 18 years of age. Another extremely good performance from the physically imposing flanker in the recent Barbarians game showed he is definitely one to watch.
The opensider, who stands at 1.85m and weighs 102kg, was given a five-year contract by the Sale Sharks last year, which shows the belief they have in his capabilities.
Curry, who has played for England at junior levels, is extremely strong in the loose and causes havoc at ruck time, turning over and slowing opposition balls down with regularity. The loose forward is also strong in the tackle and has unbelievable fitness levels.
He is one for the future but it may also be his time now in light of the loose-trio combination challenges for England.
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