Newcastle Falcons captain Mark Wilson will win his fifth England cap on Saturday when Eddie Jones’ side host South Africa at Twickenham after his club’s outstanding start to this season’s Heineken Champions Cup.
The 29-year-old back-row forward has played every minute of the Falcons’ opening two matches in the competition, helping them defeat RC Toulon 26-25 at Stade Felix Mayol in Round 1 before beating Montpellier 23-20 at Kingston Park in dramatic circumstances in Round 2.
Newcastle now sit top of Pool 5 with eight points and Wilson has impressed England head coach Jones enough for him to hand the Falcon the No. 8 jersey for the clash with the Springboks this weekend.
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) November 1, 2018
Pool 3 leaders Saracens boast three starters in fly-half Owen Farrell and locks Maro Itoje and George Kruis – as do Pool 4 team Exeter Chiefs in wing Jack Nowell, centre Henry Slade and prop Alec Hepburn.
Exeter prop Ben Moon will make his England debut if he comes off the bench – as will Bath Rugby No. 8 Zach Mercer, who is the only other uncapped player in the 23-man squad, having impressed Jones in his club’s thrilling 35-35 Pool 1 draw with Wasps in Round 2.