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England set to name centre Daly for Boks

Press AssociationPress Association 9/11/2016 Duncan Bech

England are set to spring a selection surprise for this weekend's autumn opener against South Africa by naming Elliot Daly at outside centre in place of Jonathan Joseph.

Press Association Sport understands Daly is poised to make his first Test start on Saturrday (Sunday AEDT) after winning five caps as a replacement, forming a new midfield partnership with Owen Farrell that will provide two long-range kicking options.

Joseph - demoted to the bench for the visit of the Springboks to Twickenham - had been struggling with a minor groin injury, but the Bath three-quarter was on Wednesday declared fully fit by scrum coach Neal Hatley.

"Jonathan trained on Tuesday and will be able to train on Thursday as well," Hatley said.

England name their starting XV on Thursday morning and if, as expected, Daly is the preferred option, it will be the first time Joseph has been dropped since re-establishing himself during the 2015 Six Nations.

Daly, 24, was one of the English Premiership's form players last season with his acceleration and eye for an outside break terrorising defences to Wasps' benefit.

South Africa are experiencing their worst run of results for a decade, including a record home defeat to New Zealand, but Hatley insists their threat must not be underestimated.

"They will probably go with a big pack and a big back five in the way they've tried to do for most of the year. It will be a good side," Hatley said.

"They have been a state of flux, but when they've played well they have been very impressive. The Lions did well in Super Rugby. We're expecting a good side to turn up."

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