England rugby ‘bad boy’ Danny Care has been recalled for the third and final Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth Saturday.
Care, in for injured scrum-half Ben Youngs, is one of six changes for the dead rubber with the Springboks 2-0 ahead in the series after winning 22-17 in Durban and 36-27 in Johannesburg.
Alex Goode wins his first cap at full-back and Ben Foden moves from there to the left wing in place of dropped David Strettle as England seek to halt a run of nine consecutive losses against South Africa.
Alex Corbisiero is back at loosehead prop in place of Joe Marler, Tom Palmer replaces Mouritz Botha at lock, James Haskell comes in for injured skipper Chris Robshaw at flank and Thomas Waldrom displaces No 8 Ben Morgan.
Marler and Botha
are among the replacements, as is centre South Africa-born Brad Barritt, who missed the second encounter after a first-Test eye injury needed surgery.
Care last wore the white shirt of his country 10 months ago in a 2011 Rugby World Cup warm-up against Wales at Twickenham and an injury ruled him out the tournament in New Zealand.
A series of alcohol-related disciplinary problems led to new coach Stuart Lancaster dumping him from the squad for the Six Nations in which England won four matches to finish runners-up behind Wales.
Lancaster gambled by taking Care to South Africa and he responded with an excellent showing in the first of two comfortable midweek victories over South African Barbarians teams.
With a shoulder injury ruling out second-Test star Ben Youngs, the No 9 shirt rested between Lee Dickson and Care, and the latter got the nod for the match at the 45,000-seat Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the coastal city.
“Danny has bided his time in a very competitive position, knuckled down and deserves his chance,” said Lancaster, who took charge when Martin Johnson quit after a World Cup last-eight exit.
“We felt that the pack got some momentum in the second half last week so we have gone for Alex (Corbisiero) and Tom (Palmer) but I am sure Joe Marler and Mo Botha can make an impact from the bench.
“The guys did the shirt proud in Potchefstroom on Tuesday and I have no doubt that the 22 involved on Saturday will rise to this final challenge as we look to end this almost 12-month season on a high.”
Alex Goode; Chris Ashton, Jonathan Joseph, Manu Tuilagi, Ben Foden; Toby Flood, Danny Care; Thomas Waldrom, James Haskell, Tom Johnson; Geoff Parling, Tom Palmer; Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley (capt), Alex Corbisiero
Replacements: Lee Mears, Joe Marler, Mouritz Botha, Phil Dowson, Lee Dickson, Owen Farrell, Brad Barritt
Note: South Africa won first Test 22-17 in Durban and second 36-27 in Johannesburg