Dawson, Hill to miss clash

ENGLAND will go into their biggest Test match since the 1999 World Cup without injured Lions Matt Dawson and Richard Hill.

It will be music to South African ears that such key personnel are absent from a Subiaco Oval showdown which should shape England's World Cup destiny.

Kyran Bracken, having overcome back trouble, will replace Dawson and collect his 48th cap, while Leicester back-row forward Lewis Moody takes over from Hill. Gloucester scrum-half Andy Gomarsall and Wasps' Joe Worsley move on to the bench.

England, after their injury-dominated preparations, know a record fifth successive victory over South Africa could open the door to next month's World Cup final.

The opposing routes to Sydney on November 22 could hardly provide a starker contrast.

Lose to the Springboks, and England can expect a quarter-final appointment with New Zealand in Melbourne, followed by defending world champions Australia a week later, should they get past the All Blacks.

"It is a massive game," conceded Woodward. "Everyone is looking forward to it it should be a great contest, and I think it's probably the biggest game in the World Cup coming up.

"The strength of England is that we go game by game. It's a game we must win, and no-one is thinking about any other bigger picture."

There is little doubt that South Africa, especially with their talisman players Joost van der Westhuizen and Corne Krige in top form, will provide a far tougher examination than they managed at Twickenham.

Krige and his fellow back-row forward Joe van Niekerk are the only survivors from that infamous game when violent Springbok tactics left a bitter taste.

ENGLAND: J. Lewsey; J. Robinson, W. Greenwood, M. Tindall , B. Cohen; J. Wilkinson, K. Bracken; T. Woodman, S. Thompson, P. Vickery, M. Johnson (capt), B. Kay, L. Moody, N. Back, L. Dallaglio. Replacements: D. West, J. Leonard, M. Corry, J. Worsley, A. Gomarsall, P. Grayson, D. Luger.

SOUTH AFRICA: J v d Westhuyzen; A Willemse, J Muller, D W Barry, T Delport; L Koen, J v d Westhuizen; C Bezuidenhout, D Coetzee, R Bands, B Botha, V Matfield, C Krige (capt), J v Niekerk, J Smith. Replacements: J Smit, L Sephaka, S Boome, D Rossouw, N De Kock, D Hougaard, W Greeff.

Kick off: 1pm Irish time

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