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Steve Borthwick: England are prepared for South Africa challenge

England have started their Test series with four straight defeats.

Steve Borthwick says England are prepared for South Africa’s trademark physicality in Johannesburg.

England start a three-Test series at Ellis Park as Eddie Jones’ side aim to stop the rot following four successive defeats.

“Clearly there are some things that are fundamental to South African rugby and one of those is their physical nature,” England forwards coach Borthwick said at a pre-match press conference.

“We know they’re a very good side and we know some of their players very well with Faf de Klerk and Willie le Roux playing in the Premiership.

England new boy Brad Shields (left) will cover the back row and second row from the bench on Saturday. (David Davies/PA)

“Our disappointment in the Six Nations taught us some lessons and forced us to make some changes. We want to win every game.”

Uncapped Hurricanes forward Brad Shields has been fast-tracked into the England squad and will be on the bench.

New Zealand-born Shields only met up with the squad on Sunday, but Borthwick is confident the 27-year-old flanker can cover the second row against South Africa.

“He’s played there before and is a good player,” Borthwick said.

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