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Why South Africa’s ‘Bomb Squad’ has caused Eddie Jones to drop Ellis Genge

Ellis Genge was an increasingly influential leader in England during the recent campaigns. A fierce focal point with his aggressive carrying and inspection on the field, the loose-headed prop is also an engaging and charismatic presence among his peers off the field.

With all that in mind, him being moved to the bench for South Africa’s visit to Twickenham would be very upsetting. Rarely, though, is there a stronger reason for Eddie Jones to “change the regime.”

As we know, this is how the process of switching players between the starting line-up and substitutes is better called than talking about dropping anyone. Such sentiments often elicit from Jones weary groans. Here, though, it’s a strategy that makes sense.

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If the Bomb Squad is baptized in the 2019 World Cup, the importance of the Springboks’ bench will take home again during the second and third Tests of the British and Irish Lions’ tour in 2021.

In each of those matches, the hosts overcame a small half-time deficit to claim important victories. On both occasions, they pressed their opponents deftly on set-pieces thanks to the arrival of reinforcements.

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Trevor Nyakan and Vincent Koch were the South African champions in the series report. Over the last 10 minutes, they’ve knocked out two pivotal Lions penalty kicks. Props in red for the finale? Mako Vunipola and Kyle Sinclar.

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