First start for St Albans’ Nick Isiekwe as England name side for first test in South Africa

PUBLISHED: 12:54 07 June 2018

Nick Isiekwe made his first England appearance against the Barbarians at Twickenham. Picture: PAUL HARDING/PA

Nick Isiekwe made his first England appearance against the Barbarians at Twickenham. Picture: PAUL HARDING/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

St Albans’ Nick Isiekwe has been handed his first start in an England jersey as Eddie Jones’ men prepare for the first test with South Africa.

St Albans' Nick Isiekwe shows off his winners medal after Saracens 27-10 win over Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership Final at Twickenham.St Albans' Nick Isiekwe shows off his winners medal after Saracens 27-10 win over Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership Final at Twickenham.

The former Verulamians and Old Albanian junior, as well as Nicholas Breakspear old boy, will line up in the second row alongside Saracens team-mate, and former Harpenden man, Maro Itoje for the clash at Ellis Park, Johannesburg.

It will be the 20-year-old’s third cap and comes hot on the heels of his first medal in the professional game when Saracens lifted the Aviva Premiership trophy at Twickenham.

Another former Harpenden player, Owen Farrell, will captain the side.

Head coach Jones said: “We have had a really good week in preparation for this weekend and we are pleased with the way the squad has come together.

“Owen Farrell has settled in well to his new role, with the senior players supporting him, and there is a good feeling within the camp.

“We want to do something special on this tour and the players are all incredibly excited about this challenge and opportunity we have.

“Ellis Park is the spiritual homeland of South African rugby and the Springboks play to another level on that ground, so we know we have to raise our game physically early on and be enormously accurate in the way we play.”

It is the first of three test matches for England in South Africa.

The next two take place in Bloemfontein on June 16 and Cape Town on June 23.

All games kick off at 4.05pm.

England team to face South Africa:

15 Elliot Daly (Wasps, 18 caps)

14 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 34 caps)

13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 10 caps)

12 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 58 caps)

11 Mike Brown (Harlequins, 69 caps)

10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 45 caps)

9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 74 caps)

1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 49 caps)

2 Jamie George (Saracens, 25 caps)

3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 10 caps)

4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 19 caps)

5 Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, 2 caps)

6 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 64 caps)

7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 1 cap)

8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 34 caps)

Replacements

16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 5 caps)

17 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 56 caps)

18 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 8 caps)

19 Brad Shields (Hurricanes/ Wasps, 0 caps)

20 Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 14 caps)

21 Ben Spencer (Saracens, 0 caps)

22 Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 3 caps)

23 Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks, 2 caps)

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