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Rugby Union

Launchbury set for England return

13th June 2018, 15:45 by Jack Ogalbe

England have been boosted by the news that Joe Launchbury has been passed fit to face South Africa on Saturday.

A calf injury ruled the Wasps lock out of last weekend's first Test defeat in Johannesburg and it was feared he could also be absent for the second meeting in Bloemfontein.

Launchbury returned to training earlier this week and after undergoing a series of tests, has been declared fit to take part in the second meeting with the Springboks.

"Joe Launchbury trained today and trained well," forwards coach Steve Borthwick told Press Association Sport.

"He's done a great job with his rehabilitation and is available for selection."

Youngster Nick Isiekwe partnered Saracens' team-mate Maro Itoje in the second row in the first match at Ellis Park but could now make way for the second match in the three Test series.

Eddie Jones will be hoping for a more disciplined performance in Free State, with wing Jonny May bemoaning his team's penalty count in recent months.

"We should have realised by now the impact one penalty has on the momentum of a game, let alone back-to-back penalties," he told the Guardian.

"In the Six Nations it killed us and it was as bad as ever at the weekend.

"We have spoken as a group because we're desperate to be the best. One penalty can really get a team going. It's such a frustrating one because we don't want to be giving away penalties.

"The things that are making us come unstuck are things that we can fix ourselves."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Jack Ogalbe has been working for the team since his student days, having enjoyed a successful placement. He is an avid West Ham fan but also enjoys writing on rugby union, golf, tennis and cycling.

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