I’ve tried to become a better person – Cipriani
Third Test: South Africa v England
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town Date: Saturday, 23 June Kick-off: 16:05 BST
Coverage: Live radio and text commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Danny Cipriani says he feels “privileged” as he prepares to make his first England start in 10 years after being named at fly-half for the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Cipriani, 30, replaces George Ford, who drops out of the 23-man squad.

“It’s been a great journey to get here and I’m excited for Saturday,” Cipriani told BBC Sport.

Flanker Brad Shields misses out on Saturday through illness, while Chris Robshaw returns.

Prop Joe Marler and number eight Nathan Hughes start in place of the unavailable Mako Vunipola and his injured brother Billy.

Cipriani made his first appearance in three years when coming off the bench in the second Test, but has not started for his country since playing against the Springboks in 2008.

“We are expecting a wet and windy old day at Newlands and have elected to play Danny Cipriani ahead of George Ford to give us a left-foot kicking option,” said head coach Eddie Jones.

Jones, who admitted his team are “struggling a little bit” after six successive defeats, said Cipriani’s attitude on tour has been “first class”.

“We know he’s an individual, brilliant player, but his ability to play as part of a team – and he’s shown that on tour – has been exceptional,” Jones told BBC Sport.

“He doesn’t have to impress. What he’s got to do is do his job, to make sure he keeps the team on the front foot. He’s got to be the bus diver and the conductor.”

Danny Cipriani will be making only his fifth start for England on Saturday. Since making his debut in 2008 he has won 15 caps for England, with his appearance as a replacement last weekend his first cap for three years.

Cipriani said: “This is the whole reason I’ve ever played rugby, to represent my country, and I couldn’t be more proud right now.

“Everything that I’ve done and mistakes I’ve made and lessons that I’ve tried to learn, I’ve tried to become a better person and learn from them, and continue to do so.”

Asked if he had ever given up on his England dream, he said: “No.

“You do have doubts, but does it then push you harder to go and prove them wrong?

“There are those voices that do come into your head but it is about perseverance and resilience. It’s about whatever your bigger picture is, and don’t lose sight of that.

“I’ve never lost sight of that so that’s why I guess I’m getting the opportunity now. For me it’s always been about playing for England.”

Sam Simmonds steps up to the bench for England, as do fellow Exeter forwards Alec Hepburn and Jonny Hill.

Schalk Brits has been named among the South Africa replacements, despite retiring after Saracens’ Premiership final victory over Exeter last month.

The 37-year-old hooker, who has been persuaded to delay ending his career by Springboks boss Rassie Erasmus, will win his 11th cap off the bench.

Erasmus has also told Brits that if he finds a new club he will be in his plans for next year’s World Cup.

Erasmus has made four changes to his starting XV, with Warrick Gelant replacing the in-form Willie le Roux at full-back.

Jesse Kriel and Andre Esterhuizen form a new centre partnership, Elton Jantjies comes in for Handre Pollard at fly-half and Chiliboy Ralepelle starts at hooker.

England: E Daly (Wasps); J May (Leicester Tigers), H Slade (Exeter Chiefs), O Farrell (Saracens, capt), M Brown (Harlequins); D Cipriani (Wasps), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers); J Marler (Harlequins), J George (Saracens), K Sinckler (Harlequins), J Launchbury (Wasps), M Itoje (Saracens), C Robshaw (Harlequins), T Curry (Sale Sharks), N Hughes (Wasps).

Replacements: L Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), A Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs), H Williams (Exeter Chiefs), J Hill (Exeter Chiefs), M Wilson (Newcastle Falcons), S Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), B Spencer (Saracens), D Solomona (Sale Sharks)

South Africa: W Gelant (Bulls); S Nkosi (Sharks), J Kriel (Bulls), A Esterhuizen (Sharks), A Dyantyi (Lions); E Jantjies (Lions), F de Klerk (Sale Sharks); T Mtawarira (Sharks), C Ralepelle (Sharks), F Malherbe (Stormers), RG Snyman (Bulls), F Mostert (Lions), S Kolisi (Stormers), PS du Toit (Stormers), D Vermeulen (Unattached).

Replacements: S Brits (Unattached), S Kitshoff (Stormers), T du Toit (Sharks), JL du Preez (Sharks), S Notshe (Stormers), E Papier (Bulls), H Pollard (Bulls), W le Roux (Wasps).


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