The Leicester Tigers No8, who captained England Saxons at Welford Road last season before being elevated to the England Elite Squad, was introduced to the action by England team manager Martin Johnson as a replacement for Nick Easter in the 68th minute .
By that stage world champions South Africa had scored three of their five tries as Crane joined Tigers teammates Toby Flood and Harry Ellis on the pitch.
Flood replaced the injured Riki Flutey at inside centre after half an hour’s play, while Ellis took the place of Danny Care after 66 minutes. Tom Croft took over from flanker Tom Rees in the final minute of normal time.
Geordan Murphy made as winning return to the Ireland line-up in a 17-3 victory over Argentina at Croke Park.
Murphy, who had been omitted from the opening two Tests of the autumn, played the full 80 minutes at full-back as club colleague Marcos Ayerza collected his 21st cap as a 38th-minute replacement for the Pumas.
Seru Rabeni was named among the replacements as the Pacific Islanders broke their international duck with a 25-17 victory over Italy in Reggio Emilio and Tigers hooker Benjamin Kayser was an unused replacement for France as they were beaten 13-18 by Australia.