Preview: England v Australia

England will look to round off their Autumn Internationals on a high note as they welcome Australia to Twickenham for the Cook Cup.

England will look to round off their Autumn Internationals on a high note as they welcome Australia to Twickenham for the Cook Cup.

Eddie Jones makes nine changes to his side ahead of the clash following his side’s victory over Japan making three positional switches as well as a starting lineup overhaul.

Jamie George keeps Dylan Hartley out of the starting side at hooker with props Ben Moon and Kyle Sinckler returning to the starting line-up.

Courtney Lawes shifts from the back row to the second row alongside Maro Itoje and Sam Underhill will start at flanker with Mark Wilson moving to No.8.

The big news on the bench is that Manu Tuilagi is in line for his first England appearance since 2016.   Co-captain Owen Farrell is back in at fly-half with Ben Te’o and Henry Slade as the centre pairing.

Joe Cokanasiga is back on the wing in place of the injured Jack Nowell.

For the Wallabies, David Pocock has been withdrawn from the team after struggling with a neck injury and failing a late fitness test. A replacement has yet to be announced.   Elsewhere and after making a series of changes to play Italy, head coach Michael Cheika has reverted to the core side who played against Wales a week earlier.

Adam Ashley-Cooper and Kurtley Beale drop out of the squad so Jack Maddocks and Dane Haylett-Petty will start on the wings for Australia.

Israel Folau continues to play at full-back with Cheika preferring to go with the experience of Will Genia, who will make his 100th test appearance at Twickenham having handed a debut to Jake Gordon last weekend.

What they said:

Eddie Jones (England head coach): “We just feel that the game is going to go like that – the first period will be quite fast with a lot of ball movement and that will suit Jamie and the last part will be more a traditional arm-wrestle.

“That is how games against Australia usually go. We feel that Jamie starting and Dylan finishing gives us our best result.”

“When Dylan comes on he gives us more leadership, which is outstanding,” said Jones.

“The way rugby’s going, it’s going more and more like NFL in that the games are getting longer and longer.

“The periods within the game are more intense but the breaks in the game are getting longer. Your ability to have fresh leaders on the field to communicate is just so important.”

Michael Cheika (Australia head coach): “I know everyone thinks this is a lost cause.   “I’ve seen some of our own people from back home saying that we’re not up to it. So we want to make sure that every Australian who gets up and watches thinks: ‘Those guys put everything they’ve got into this game.’

“It doesn’t have to be perfect but I want plenty of heart and plenty of courage.”

Key battle: Joe Cokanasiga v Jack Maddocks

The Bath winger has kept his place in the side with Jack Nowell out injured but with only one appearance in England shirt to his name, Australia will provide a big test.   He will be up against Jack Maddocks, who only has a handful of Wallaby appearances under his belt.

Both 21 years old, the two wingers will face off in a clash of inexperience, this one could hinge on which one comes out better on the other side.

Stat Watch:

– Will Genia will make his 100th appearance for Australia. – Australia have won only four of their past 14 Tests. – England have won the last five encounters between the two sides. – Friday marked the fifteenth anniversary since Johnny Wilkinson sealed England’s World Cup win over Australia in 2003.   England: 15. Elliot Daly; 14. Joe Cokanasiga, 13. Henry Slade, 12. Ben Te’o, 11. Jonny May; 10. Owen Farrell (co-capt), 9. Ben Youngs; 1. Ben Moon, 2. Jamie George, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. Courtney Lawes, 6. Brad Shields, 7. Sam Underhill, 8. Mark Wilson.

Replacements: 16. Dylan Hartley (co-capt), 17. Alec Hepburn, 18. Harry Williams, 19. Charlie Ewels, 20. Nathan Hughes, 21. Richard Wigglesworth, 22. George Ford, 23. Manu Tuilagi

Australia: 15. Israel Folau; 14. Dane Haylett-Petty, 13. Samu Kerevi, 12. Bernard Foley, 11. Jack Maddocks; 10. Matt Toomua, 9. Will Genia; 1. Scott Sio, 2. Tolu Latu, 3. Sekope Kepu, 4. Izack Rodda, 5. Adam Coleman, 6. Jack Dempsey, 7. Michael Hooper, TBC   Replacements: 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17. Jermaine Ainsley, 18. Alan Alaalatoa, 19. Rob Simmons, 20. Ned Hanigan, 21. Pete Samu, 22. Nick Phipps, 23. Sefa Naivalu