The two teams will play one another for the first time since the 2019 Rugby World Cup
England v Australia Preview – Autumn Internationals
Eddie Jones’s comments on Emma Raducanu have eclipsed all talk of rugby in the build-up to England’s match against Australia.
He used the US Open star as an example of an athlete letting new-found fame impede their sporting form, adding that: “The big thing for young players is distractions.”
In the background, England’s Covid troubles have also continued. Owen Farrell returned after his test was a false positive, but Joe Marler has been ruled out after testing positive and the uncapped Bevan Rodd was called up in his place.
The problems didn’t stop there because a second loosehead, Ellis Genge, tested positive for Covid on Friday. The Leicester Tiger had been due to start but dropped out to be replaced by Rodd. Trevor Davison, who made his debut against USA in July, comes onto the bench.
England won’t have the latest batch of PCR results until Saturday, so there could yet be more changes if there’s another positive result.
However, Jones’s Test selection for this match with Australia has blown away so much of the narrative. Intriguing. Quirky. Selections fans have been crying out for and a few no one saw coming. In a match with a Test rival Jones knows all too well, the fans have plenty to discuss ahead of Saturday.
This pair haven’t faced each other since England took the spoils at the 2019 World Cup. Australia will want to redeem themselves and bounce back from their defeat to Scotland last Sunday too. In our England v Australia preview below, you’ll find the team news, coaches’ views and more.
What’s the big England v Australia news?
Jones has had a selection headache in the midfield. Owen Farrell returns to the team at inside-centre with man of the moment Marcus Smith at fly-half and Henry Slade in at centre. Interestingly, Manu Tuilagi starts on the wing ahead of Adam Radwan, who is dropped from the match-day 23.
Freddie Steward retains the full-back shirt and wing Jonny May and scrum-half Ben Youngs keep their positions. In the forwards, Maro Itoje will win his 50th cap, with Jonny Hill once again in the second row. Tom Curry starts at No 8, despite Jones including two players who play that position most weeks, in Alex Dombrandt and Sam Simmonds, on the bench.
Rodd and Raffi Quirke could win their first caps from the bench.
Meanwhile, Australia have made just two changes to their squad who lost to Scotland but there are a few positional changes. Kurtley Beale starts at full-back with Andrew Kellaway starting on the wing and Tom Wright switches wings.
In the forwards, James Slipper will start at tighthead with Angus Bell coming in at loosehead. Allan Alaalatoa and Taniela Tupou were both ruled out due to concussion.
What have the coaches said?
England head coach Eddie Jones: “We know this will be a tough test for us, we’re playing against a team who have been together a while and who have beat the world champions twice. As an Australian I know how much this game means.
“We’ve had a really good week of preparation, we’re looking to improve our performance this week and I think this side is building well.”
Australia head coach Dave Rennie: “Playing England at a packed Twickenham is one of the toughest assignments in Test rugby but we’re excited by that.
“While it’s disappointing for Taniela and Allan, who weren’t able to pass their protocols within the six-day turnaround, it’s created an opportunity for Ollie to realise a lifelong dream.
“He’s impressed us with his dedication and diligence to get up to speed quickly and we’re confident he’ll do a good job for us.”
What time does it kick off and is England v Australia on TV?
The match will kick off at 5.30pm on Saturday 13 November at Twickenham Stadium.
Referee Jaco Peyper, assistants AJ Jacobs and Pierre Brousset and TMO Stuart Berry will take charge of the match.
England v Australia will be available to watch on Amazon Prime.
Related: Autumn Nations Series TV coverage
What are the line-ups?
England: Freddie Steward; Manu Tuilagi, Henry Slade, Owen Farrell (capt), Jonny May; Marcus Smith, Ben Youngs; Bevan Rodd, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Courtney Lawes, Sam Underhill, Tom Curry.
Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Trevor Davison, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Alex Dombrandt, 21 Sam Simmonds, 22 Raffi Quirke, 23 Max Malins.
Australia: Kurtley Beale; Andrew Kellaway, Len Ikitau, Hunter Paisami, Tom Wright; James O’Connor, Nic White; Angus Bell, Folau Fainga’a, James Slipper, Rory Arnold, Izack Rodda, Rob Leota, Michael Hooper (capt), Rob Valetini.
Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Noah Lolesio, 23 Izaia Perese.
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