England coach Stuart Lancaster has warned some players are running out of chances to impress ahead of the World Cup after South Africa inflicted a fifth straight defeat upon next year's tournament hosts.
Four straight loses to New Zealand and a 12th straight winless encounter with the Springboks is England's worst run since 1984 and with 10 matches remaining until the World Cup in 11 months, time is running out for Lancaster's side to convince they can be genuine contenders.
Matches against Samoa and Australia remain in their autumn series schedule and Lancaster says he will hand opportunities to some of England's fringe players in the coming weeks to ensure his final squad is stocked full of match-winners.
"From our point of view we want to learn about the players that we've got and who can and can't deliver at the highest level," Lancaster said after the 28-31 defeat at Twickenham. "We've had two games now, and going into the Samoa games we have already in our minds thought about changes that we'd like to make.
"For us this series is about winning, we've not achieved that in the first two games, but it's also about learning as a group a we lead into the World Cup.
"We've got 10 games now and they are important games. We need to narrow down the guys who when the white-hot pressure comes on in 11 months time who can deliver.
He added: "[The result] probably confirms in my mind [that changes] are the right thing to do. We're not talking wholesale changes but there are some good players that we need to find out about. The players are being tested at the highest level and some of them are really turning up. personnel
"From my point of view I've got to pick the side that has got the best chance of winning the next game but also I am looking at that 31-man squad who can take us to the World Cup.
"You're always learning and developing as a team. When you're a team like our who still has some development to do we will panic or lose our nerve of deviate from the course we're on."
George Ford, Ben Morgan and Ben Youngs, all of whom finished the defeat to South Africa, are all expected to be among the changes made by England who are seeking to end a five-match losing run and claim a first win since March's Six Nations win over Italy against Samoa next week.
"We've played the top two sides in the world now, and that is the benchmark for us. We've never said we are the finished article and we always know that when we took the rolls back in 2012 that we have to take a young group of players an take them through some tough environments.
"We're not going to sit here and feel sorry for ourselves. I believe in the coaches, I believe in the players and what we're doing. It hurts to lose at Twickenham but we can turn the hurt into a positive.
"The next game is an important one but for me it's about who can and can't deliver in 11 months time because that is when it does matter."