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England will never have a better opportunity of claiming the prize scalp of world champions South Africa than when the two sides lock horns at Twickenham this weekend, according to former captain Lawrence Dallaglio.

Dallaglio, who was part of the the squad that lost to the Springboks in Paris three years ago, thinks England must take full advantage of the apparent disarray within the South Africa camp by claiming a key victory which will round off an impressive autumn campaign for Johnson's team.

"It's a huge opportunity for them to claim another big scalp for the team. There is probably no better time to play South Africa than now," said the 38-year-old.

"They are coming towards the end of a tough long tour and are on the back of some patchy form. They were beaten by Scotland last week so they are under pressure.

"Their fans back home will not be pleased with that performance. They have had the controversy of the two failed drugs tests too so it's a very good time to be playing the Springboks."

Peter de Villiers' side have failed to live up to their billing as world champions during the autumn internationals. The Springboks scraped past Wales and Ireland before falling to a shock defeat to Scotland at Murrayfield last weekend and their problems have been worsened by the expulsion of Bjorn Basson and Chiliboy Ralepelle for failing a drugs test.

England produced an outstanding display to beat Australia but struggled against Samoa last week, trailing the physical outfit with half an hour remaining before completing a comeback thanks to a try from Tom Croft and some near faultless kicking by Toby Flood.

The Red Rose were also disappointing in the first half against New Zealand in this autumn's first Investec international, where they could have won a match they ended up losing had they not taken so long to get into gear.

Dallaglio believes that England cannot afford a similarly slow start this weekend if they are to perform better than the last time the Springboks lined up against Johnson's team at Twickenham in a 42-6 defeat two years ago.

"This week we have to come out of the blocks like we did against Australia with sharpness and precision and take them on," he said. "I remember South Africa doing a job on us the last time they were here and I think that even though a lot of this team didn't play then, they have to use that as motivation this Saturday."


From Belfast Telegraph