England suffer Roko injury blow ahead of Springboks showdown

Ross McLean
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ENGLAND have been dealt a blow ahead of their second autumn clash against South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday after Bath wing Semesa Rokoduguni was last night ruled out with a thigh injury.

Harlequins’ Marland Yarde has been called-up to replace Rokoduguni in the only change to the 23 players selected to face the All Blacks, although Wasps skipper James Haskell has been added to the squad as cover for blind-side flanker Tom Wood.

“Roko [Semesa Rokoduguni] did some limited training yesterday morning but is unlikely to fully recover from his thigh injury in time for the game so Marland [Yarde] is in the group coming back this morning,” said head coach Stuart Lancaster. “Tom [Wood] is still sore from the weekend and sat out training so we are including five back rows to give us options before we announce the side tomorrow.”

There was better news for England as centre Kyle Eastmond took part in full training yesterday after being troubled with diarrhoea since the defeat to New Zealand.

Lancaster will have to wait until tomorrow for final confirmation that second row Courtney Lawes and hooker Dylan Hartley are free from concussion symptoms.

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