Thursday 22 February 2018

Care, Waldrom set to get England nod

England have named only four of their side from Saturday's loss to South Africa in the squad for today's match against Northern Barbarians.

No 8 Ben Morgan, who started in Johannesburg, and scrum-half Lee Dickson, a substitute in the 36-27 Test defeat, have been included in the XV for the game in Potchefstroom.

Winger David Strettle and lock Mouritz Botha, who also played from the start at the weekend, will be on the bench.

The selections suggest head coach Stuart Lancaster is planning changes for the third Test against the Springboks in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Two players conspicuous by their absence are scrum-half Danny Care and No 8 Thomas Waldrom.

England must make a change at scrum-half after Ben Youngs was forced out with a shoulder injury.

Dickson, who came off the bench to replace him in the first two Tests, had seemed to be in pole position but the decision to rest Care suggests he is a strong contender.

Care (25) is hoping to resurrect his international career after being dropped earlier this year following a series of off-field incidents.

Ulster net Herring from London Irish

Ulster have confirmed the return next season of out-half Niall O'Connor and the signing of Western Province and former London Irish hooker Rob Herring, who is Irish qualified.

Limavady-born O'Connor was released early from his two-year contract with Connacht after a year away from Ravenhill.

O'Connor said he was grateful for the way former Ireland out-half Eric Elwood helped progress his career in Galway.

"I am very grateful to Eric and everyone at Connacht for making me feel so welcome," he said. "When the possibility arose to move back up to my home club, I thought it was a fantastic opportunity as Ulster are one of the best sides in Europe."

O'Connor fills the void left by the departing Ian Humphreys.

Irish Independent

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