19 Jun 2012

England skipper out of third test against Springboks

6:40 am on 19 June 2012

A cracked thumb bone has ruled England rugby skipper Chris Robshaw out of the third and final Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

Hooker Dylan Hartley will take over the captaincy as the Red Roses try to avoid a whitewash having lost the first Test 22-17 in Durban and the second 36-27 in Johannesburg last weekend.

Flanker Robshaw suffered knocks during the first and second Tests against the Springboks at Kings Park and Ellis Park and an image sent to England for specialist opinion revealed the crack.

Meanwhile, the uncapped Stormers fullback Joe Pietersen has joined the Springbok squad in Port Elizabeth as injury cover.

Zane Kirchner (knee) wore the No.15 shirt in the first Test and Patrick Lambie (ankle) in the second, but both face fitness tests ahead of the team announcement on Thursday.

Inside centre Francois Steyn has played at fullback but is unavailable as he is getting married on the day of the match.