England will also be handed a much-needed injection of experience with the return of Joe Marler to the squad. Marler tested positive for Covid-19 last week and, with Ellis Genge also testing positive, England’s loosehead resources were greatly depleted going into the Australia match, with rookie Bevan Rodd handed his debut.
Marler’s period of self-isolation does not end until Thursday evening but the Harlequins prop, and England’s most powerful scrummager, has been in constant touch with Jones and will be ready to take part in a training session on Friday.
With Jamie George also ruled out with a knee injury, England are expected to start with an inexperienced front row of Rodd and Newcastle hooker Jamie Blamire, but Marler’s return will be key in helping Jones’ side cope with the Springboks’ front-five ‘bomb squad’ from the bench.
“South Africa pride themselves on physicality, but at the same time there’s not loads to hit when the ball is in the air, is there?” said Curry. “It’s getting that balance right, making sure we’re clear on our gameplan and how we want to get it done.”
Jones will confirm his starting XV after a training session on Thursday morning.
A rejinked backline looks set to see Manu Tuilagi return to the midfield alongside Henry Slade, with Malins in strong contention for a start on the left wing to give England greater back-field cover in the face of the Springbok aerial threat.
Curry, who played in all three Tests for the Lions against the Springboks, said the lesson learned was not to play them at their own game of “a lot of kicks and slowing the game down”.
“You probably shoot yourselves in the foot if you get in that cycle with them, because that’s what they want, isn’t it? We have to make sure we are clear about what we want to do.”