Yarde, Hughes named to face Wallabies

Eddie Jones (Getty)
Eddie Jones (Getty)

London - Fiji-born back-row Nathan Hughes is set to make his first England start after being named in the XV to face Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.

Hughes, capped twice off the bench in last month's wins over South Africa and Fiji, replaces Billy Vunipola after the No 8 suffered a severe knee injury during England's 27-14 victory over Argentina last week.

The other change to the match-day 23 sees Marland Yarde come in on the wing after Elliot Daly was suspended following his fifth-minute red card for a dangerous tackle against Argentina.

"Nathan is a strong runner and will provide go-forward," said England coach Eddie Jones after naming his side on Thursday.

"I like one winger with pace, which is Jonny May, and one with work rate, so Marland will work hard for us."

He added: "The great thing about our team is that no-one is irreplaceable. 

"We've had seven influential players missing throughout the autumn but we've been able to fill that gap and that's the sort of team we are developing."

England will be bidding for a national record-equalling 14th straight victory - a mark set by Clive Woodward's World Cup winners in 2002-03 - and 13th in a row under Australian boss Jones against the Wallabies.

Their current winning streak includes a 3-0 series victory in Australia in June.

Jones, however, said: "Australia have improved significantly since we last played them. The enduring feature of Australian rugby is their cleverness. They look like they are doing one thing and they do the other. 

"They have got some quite clever two-phase variation plays and we are going to need to be on our guard. They played very deep and a long way from the gain line against us in June, now they are really flattening up.

"They've really got their attack together and it’s clear (assistant coach) Stephen Larkham is doing a good job with them.

"We want to make the game into a physical contest but we also need to be flexible and adaptable like we were against Argentina and if do that we'll put ourselves in a good position."

Jones took over as Red Rose coach following the hosts first-round exit at last year's World Cup - with England beaten in the pool phase by Australia.

The tournament also saw Jones guide Japan to a shock win over South Africa.

Since taking the England job, the 2019 World Cup in Japan has been in Jones's sights.

"We've played three Test matches on the trot which is important because it replicates a World Cup pool," Jones said Thursday.

"We've won three from three so it's a great dress rehearsal for the World Cup. We need to win this game to progress to the next stage.

"You can't just win three games to go through, Japan showed that, so we've got to get in that practice of winning four games on the trot against quality opposition."

Jones, Australia's coach when they lost the 2003 World Cup final to England, urged his current side to keep their composure at the weekend.

"If you look back historically at big Test matches between England and Australia at Twickenham the last 20 minutes has always been a time where either team can win the game and the team that is the most composed, makes good decisions and physically pushes themselves is the team that is going to win the game."

Australia, whose 27-24 loss to Ireland in Dublin last week ended their hopes of a Grand Slam, were due to name their side later on Thursday.



15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 George Kruis, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Mako Vunipola

Substitutes: 16 Jamie George, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Teimana Harrison, 21 Danny Care, 22 Ben Te’o, 23 Henry Slade



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