By Gary Taylor, Rugby World reader
England kicked off their three game Autumn International series with a 18-9 defeat against Australia on Saturday. England struggled with the ball in hand against a patchwork Australian side and changes for the Argentina game seem likely.
Here is my team for Saturday’s game against Argentina:
Ben Foden – The Saints full-back has played every single minute of his teams solid start to the season and has been a consistent performer. Monye struggled to find space at full back against Australia and this could be Foden’s chance to shine.
Matt Banahan – Struggled to make an impact against the Aussie back line and was wrapped up everytime he got the ball. Made an instant impact against Argentina last year and will hope to do the same.
Dan Hipkiss – Very disappointing against Australia. Struggled with the physical impact of Ioane and was largely ineffective with the ball in hand. Will need a major improvement this weekend.
Shane Geraghty – Showed glimpses of magic with his quick turn of pace and kicking. Needed more help from Hipkiss in order to really let loose and hopefully we will see that on Saturday.
Ugo Monye – Started at full-back and was nowhere near his best on Saturday. Struggled to find space and found out that full back at International level is a different kettle of fish to the Premiership. Back on the wing for me where he does his damage.
Jonny Wilkinson – Scored all nine England points with the boot. Missed a few tackles in the second half which is very un-Jonny like but has been told to stay out of big contact in order to avoid injury. There were signs that partnership with Geraghty could be special in time to come.
Paul Hodgson – I would have started Hodgson against Australia as he is in great form right now. For me, a bit more composed and tactically astute compared to Care.
Tim Payne – Scrummed well against Robinson and carried the ball well into contact when needed.
Dylan Hartley – The Saints captain has started well this campaign had a slight injury going into the Australian game, hence not starting. If fully fit, a starter for me over club mate Thompson.
Duncan Bell – Was harshly judged to have brought down a scrum late on which gave Giteau a penalty to put Australia ahead. But looked to have more presence that Wilson.
Steve Borthwick – A decent performance from the captain. Was pretty solid in the line out and carried the ball well into contact. Needs to keep playing like that more regularly.
Courtney Lawes – I would start Lawes because he could be the fresh, young talent who can give the England pack a much needed lift later on in the game with his athletic ability to cover a lot of ground.
Tom Croft – Decent display but was up against Rocky Elsom, who had a very impressive game indeed. Was good at the line-out but struggled to break the Aussie defensive line in open play.
Steffon Armitage – Would get the nod over Moody for me because offers much more as an attacking threat. Maybe not as good defensively but has the ability to turn the ball over at rucks and get England attacking more.
James Haskell – Made a difference when he came on for Jordan Crane with his industry but England struggled in the second half to get out of their own half. Should be able to get on the front foot more often against Argentina.
But what do you think? Who would you have in there?
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