England head to Melbourne for their second Test against Australia, knowing that a victory on Saturday will secure a first ever series win against The Wallabies. History is within reach for Eddie Jones and his side.
Last week’s 39-28 victory over Australia was England’s first ever in Brisbane and put them 1-0 up in the three game series. After his eighth consecutive victory as England Rugby Head Coach, Jones has opted to make changes to his match day 23-man squad as he looks to finish off Australia.
George Ford and Jack Nowell come into the starting XV with Luther Burrell and Marland Yarde dropping out of the squad. Ford produced a superb performance off the bench last week and his inclusion see’s Owen Farrell move back to inside-centre.
Yarde can consider himself slightly unlucky to be ousted from the side after scoring in his last two games. But Nowell brings work-rate to the back three and he was a key figure in the Six Nations success.
On the bench it is a 6-2 split between forwards and backs. Jack Clifford will cover the back-row and Jamie George replaces Luke Cowan-Dickie; with Danny Care and Elliot Daly the only potential back replacements.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) 16 June 2016
Jones said on the squad, “We’ve picked a 23 to get the job done in Melbourne. Throughout the week the players have shown they’re desperate to wear the red rose which meant some close calls on selection.
“It’s a 23 that suits the way we want to play at AAMI Park. George and Owen playing together gives us two great kicking options and Jack is a high work-rate player.
“Jamie, Jack and Elliot have shown huge desire this week and deserve their spots on the bench.”
England looking to dominate the breakdown as Australia lose David Pocock
One area where England excelled in Brisbane was the breakdown as they managed to nullify the threat of Michael Hooper and David Pocock – the pair who caused so much damage at the World Cup in 2015.
The likes of Maro Itoje, Chris Robshaw and James Haskell all won turnovers at crucial times; highlighting just how far England have come in the past eight months.
Australia with be without Pocock this weekend after the number eight fractured his eye socket. England will be hoping to once again dominate at the ruck with Australia missing their key man.
The World Player of the Year runner-up has been replaced by exciting young prospect Sean McMahon who has produced some eye-catching displays from the bench.
Jones was also delighted to see England exercise their demons at the scrum; another area where they were second best to the Wallabies during the World Cup. Dan Cole in particular impressed with his powerful scrummaging and he will be a key man once again.
If England can reproduce the level of performance they showed in Brisbane then there is no reason why they can’t take a 2-0 lead and with it a first ever series win. If not then they know they still have a chance in final Test.
The pressure is all on Australia and Eddie Jones is loving it. Stand by for another cracking Test match.
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Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 1 James Slipper, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 3 Sekope Kepu, 4 Rory Arnold, 5 Sam Carter, 6 Scott Fardy, 7 Michael Hooper, 8 Sean McMahon.
Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Toby Smith, Greg Holmes, Dean Mumm, Ben McCalman, Nick Frisby, Christian Lealiifano, Luke Morahan.
England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Jack Nowell, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Mako Vunipola, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 3 Dan Cole, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 George Kruis, 6 Chris Robshaw, 7 James Haskell, 8 Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Courtney Lawes, 21 Jack Clifford, 22 Danny Care, 23 Elliot Daly.