Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Rokoduguni ruled out for England

England have recalled Marland Yarde for Saturday's QBE International against South Africa after Semesa Rokoduguni was ruled out of the Twickenham showdown with a thigh problem.

Rokoduguni was injured in the second half of last weekend's 24-21 defeat by New Zealand and is unfit to face the Springboks, resulting in Yarde's elevation into a 24-man squad named by Stuart Lancaster.

"Roko has done some limited training but is unlikely to fully recover from his thigh injury in time, so Marland is in the group coming back into camp on Wednesday," head coach Lancaster said.

England have named a squad of 24 players ahead of Thursday's team announcement with James Haskell present as back row cover for Tom Wood, who remains "sore" after the loss to the All Blacks.

"Tom is still sore from the weekend and has sat out training so we are including five back rows to give us options before we name the team," Lancaster said.

Losing Rokoduguni is yet another injury blow to England, who have already been robbed of seven Test British and Irish Lions for the entire autumn schedule.

Rokoduguni, a serving soldier in the British Army who has seen action in Afghanistan, made his international debut against the All Blacks but barely touched the ball.

At one point he was given the hopeless task of defending a three on one overlap that inevitably finished in a try - Richie McCaw crossed - and his misfortune continues with injury denying him a second cap.

Yarde is set to be drafted straight into the starting XV, taking Rokoduguni's place on the right wing, for his sixth cap.

The Harlequins threequarter impressed during the summer tour to New Zealand but has regressed this season, with an ankle complaint also affecting his chances of starting against the All Blacks last Saturday.

Even before Wood became a doubt to face the Springboks, Haskell was pushing hard for inclusion in England's back row and the Wasps captain now has hope of featuring in the 23 unveiled by Lancaster on Thursday.

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?


From Belfast Telegraph