Jack Willis dropped as England focus on line-out height against South Africa

Jack Willis in action for England v Barbarians Jack Willis has been dropped for Saturday's match against South Africa (Mike Egerton/PA)

England have dropped Jack Willis for their final match of the autumn against South Africa on Saturday in order to boost their line-out options.

Willis came on for the final quarter of last weekend’s 25-25 draw with New Zealand as part of an impressive contribution from the bench that helped reel in a 19-point deficit.

But the Toulouse-bound flanker has been omitted from a 26-man squad that will complete preparations for the Springboks’ visit to Twickenham.

Instead, Eddie Jones has opted to pick additional lock cover in the form of Hugh Tizard having indicated after the All Blacks stalemate that three jumpers would be needed for the climax to the autumn.

Jones reduced the number of jumpers against New Zealand to two in the hope that by picking Sam Simmonds at flanker they would take control of the breakdown.

But South Africa’s reliance on kicking is expected to produce more line-outs, pointing to Maro Itoje switching back to blindside flanker and Dave Ribbans partnering Jonny Hill in the second row.

Bevan Rodd features among the 26 as loosehead prop cover for Mako Vunipola, whose back stiffened up during a scrummaging session on Tuesday.

England 26-player squad

Forwards: A Coles (Northampton), L Cowan-Dickie (Exeter), T Curry (Sale), E Genge (Bristol), J George (Saracens), J Hill (Sale), M Itoje (Saracens), D Ribbans (Northampton), B Rodd (Sale), S Simmonds (Exeter), K Sinckler (Bristol), W Stuart (Bath), H Tizard (Saracens), B Vunipola (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens)

Backs: O Farrell (Saracens), T Freeman (Northampton), J May (Gloucester), J Nowell (Exeter), G Porter (Leicester), H Slade (Exeter), M Smith (Harlequins), F Steward (Leicester), M Tuilagi (Sale), J van Poortvliet (Leicester), B Youngs (Leicester)

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