Springboks, England, Joe Launchbury Bloemfontein


There was mixed injury news for England on Tuesday as they prepare for the second test against a resurgent South Africa in Bloemfontein at the weekend.

Lock Joe Launchbury sat out another training session having been unable to take part for almost two weeks, and remains a doubt for Saturday’s must-win clash at the Free State Stadium.

Launchbury missed the thrilling 42-39 loss to the Springboks at Ellis Park.

“Joe was at training this morning but was training on his own,” scrum coach Neal Hatley told reporters. “He was movingly reasonably well so we’ll see where he is later in the week.

“We’ll see if he’s able to train tomorrow, we need to see how he feels after seeing the physio.”

Hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie will take part in the match if selected after England called up uncapped Jack Singleton on Monday as injury cover following tightness in the former’s hamstring following the first test.

England let a 24-3 lead slip in the opening game of the three-match series and go into Saturday’s clash facing a fifth successive test loss a little over a year out from the Rugby World Cup.

Hatley says the coaching staff have identified areas where the team needs to improve.

“First and foremost we want to win,” he said. “We scored close to 40 points at Ellis Park so we’re pleased with a lot of the things we did in attacking including five tries.

“It’s just other areas that we need to tighten up on.”

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