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England To Spring A Surprise In The Centres Against South Africa

England centre Elliot Daly is to be selected ahead of incumbent Jonathan Joseph in a surprise by head coach Eddie Jones, according to reports.

The Mirror’s Alex Spink, usually a very reliable source, has claimed that the Wasps outside centre will be named ahead of regular 13 Jonathan Joseph in a straight swap.

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 23: Elliot Daly of Wasps pushes forward during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Wasps and Leinster Rugby at Ricoh Arena on January 23, 2016 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Joseph has been suffering a groin injury in recent days, but according to England scrum coach Neal Hatley, the entire squad is fully fit.

Daly has so far earnt five caps but all of them off the bench. This will be his first start and one richly deserved after several seasons of stunning form that springboarded the Wasps centre into the international spotlight.

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Some fans will be disappointed that Joseph has been dropped after playing so consistently for England over a number of seasons including being one of the highlights of Stuart Lancaster’s time in charge.

Nevertheless, it has been a long time since England have boasted the kind of strength of depth they are beginning to show in the centres, and Daly has a golden opportunity to steal the 13 jersey off Joseph for the long term.

Saturday’s fixture against the Springboks now has an interesting subplot to it and one that will intrigue all England fans.

Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena

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