Freddie Steward and Joe Marler included in England line up for semi-final against South Africa

Joe Marler will start at loosehead prop for England
Joe Marler will start at loosehead prop for England

England head coach Steve Borthwick has made three changes to the starting XV for the upcoming Rugby World Cup semi-final against South Africa.

The game will be a repeat of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final which the Springboks went on to win 32-12 to clinch the title for the third time. Since then, the two teams have faced each other two times with South Africa and England winning a game apiece.

With Marcus Smith ruled out following a knock in the quarter-final game against Fiji is ruled out of the encounter as Freddie Steward returns at fullback.

The second change sees George Martin returning to second row at the expense of Ollie Chessum, who drops to the bench. Alex Mitchell has retained his place at scrum-half forming halfback partnership with skipper Owen Farrell while Danny Care will continue to provide impact from the bench.

Vice-captain Ellis Genge drops to the bench that also has George Ford, Kyle Sinckler and Billy Vunipola with Borthwick opting for Joe Marler at loosehead forming the front row partnership with Jamie George and Dan Cole.

“After an excellent few days preparation in Paris, we look forward to the challenge of playing the world champions and number one ranked team in the world,” said Borthwick.

“Through this tournament, the team has progressed, with the players repeatedly finding a way to win, sometimes in challenging circumstances. We will once again need to be at our very best this weekend as we face an excellent team in South Africa.

“There is no doubt the players will truly relish the challenge of knockout rugby under the lights in Paris. These players will, as they have done in every game of this tournament, give absolutely everything in the semi-final to get the result we want."

England XV: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Jonny May, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Ben Earl, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 George Martin, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler

Reserves: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Ollie Chessum, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Danny Care, 22 George Ford, 23 Ollie Lawrence