Eddie Jones and England head to Sydney for the final game of their three match series with Australia looking to complete an unprecedented whitewash of the Wallabies, having already secured a series win for the first time in their history.
The heroic defensive effort in Melbourne was one of the finest in the history of international rugby, with the men in white holding back wave after wave of Australian attack to win 23-7; after a tremendous 39-28 win in Brisbane the week before.
Jones has already guided England to their first Six Nations title since 2011 and a first Grand Slam since 2003. The win at AAMI Park moved England Rugby up to number two in the World Rugby rankings – an astonishing feat considering where they were just eight months ago.
Now he is targeting a series whitewash against his country of birth.
Teimana Harrison replaces the injured James Haskell to win second England cap; while Michael Cheika changes three for Australia
There is no doubt that James Haskell has been one of the stars of England’s adventures Down Under. The Wasps flanker was man of the match in the opening game; before producing another herculean display in game two, making 31 tackles and creating four turnovers.
But the 31-year-old suffered a foot-injury towards the end of that game and has lost his battle to be fit for the finale. He will be replaced by Northampton Saints all-action star Teimana Harrison, who will win his second England cap.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) 23 June 2016
The New Zealand-born flanker had a stellar season for his club side and enjoyed a fine debut against Wales in the Old Mutual Wealth Cup at Twickenham.
The 23-year-old will add pace to the back-row, bur faces the biggest challenge of his career going up against one of the world’s finest operators in Michael Hooper. But Jones clearly feels he is up for the challenge.
Jones said: “To play for England you have to be in the best 23 and that’s what this selection represents.
“Teimana has trained well throughout the tour and deserves his spot. He’s an excellent defender and his robustness will be important to us at the start of the game.”
Winger Jack Nowell was expected to miss the game after suffering a head-injury but he completed the return-to-play protocols for concussion during the week and held off the challenge of Marland Yarde.
While Michael Cheika has made three changes to his Australian side. In the pack the gigantic Will Skelton returns alongside the experienced Rob Simmons; bringing some much needed grunt to the host’s engine room.
While in the backs Cheika has reverted to a dual-playmaker system with Matt Toomua returning to the inside-centre role. In the opening two games Australia opted for a power game in the centres, but with that plan failing the Wallabies have gone back to the style which served them so well in the World Cup.
A fantastic game in prospect. England have already made history, now they can make themselves legends.
England look forward to Autumn Internationals in 2016
In November the Autumn Internationals return to Twickenham with England playing four huge matches at “The Home of Rugby.”
England v South Africa – Saturday 12th November 2016
England v Fiji – Saturday 19th November 2016
England v Argentina – Saturday 26th November 2016
England v Australia – Saturday 3rd December 2016
For more information on our Twickenham Autumn International hospitality packages please follow the links.