England vs Australia - Match Preview

Date: Saturday, November 2 Venue: Twickenham Kick Off: 14:30 The autumn internationals have become a steadfast tradition in Rugby Union. They offer northern hemisphere national teams a chance to test themselves against their southern hemisphere counterparts. These test matches are fiercely competed and offer an important platform for players to stake claims for upcoming tournaments. This year€™s tests have added importance for England. They are set to host the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and will want to show that they can compete against the very best. Victories in the upcoming fixtures will provide valuable momentum ahead of the Six Nations in 2014 and the World Cup the year after. This momentum can be vital in achieving success. Clive Woodward, who was head coach when England won the World Cup in 2003, when speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live spoke about how important getting a run of wins is.
€œIf you keep winning you get this huge momentum and things are pretty good in life. If you suddenly lose a couple of games all this stuff about 2015 goes out of the window so the next game is absolutely crucial.€
The upcoming fixtures will allow Stuart Lancaster to experiment with his squad ahead of tournaments. Younger players, like Joel Tomkins and Lee Dickson, will get a chance to show how important they can be for England. The head coach has already spoken about how he wants to give less experienced players an opportunity to grab a spot in the squad.

Match Preview

England are coming off the back of a disappointing Six Nations campaign last winter. Although they put in some solid performances and showed promising signs of progression they were confidently beaten by Wales, who went on to win the Grand Slam. Summer games against South American teams were not representative as many of the team were away with the British Lions. Australia have had an unconvincing year. They struggled in the 2013 Rugby Championship, previously known as the Tri Nations, finishing third having only beaten Argentina. While they put in better performances against the Lions they still were not fluent and at their very best. This is an Australian team in something of a transition and are vulnerable to better sides The last time the two teams met was in the previous autumn tests and Australia took the victory with a 20 €“ 14 win over England. They will only meet one more time before the World Cup next year, they are both in the same group along with Wales, so both will want to put down a definite marker. After this fixture England will go on to play Argentina (9 November) and New Zealand (16 November).

Line Ups

England are set to play a significantly different squad to the one put out in the last Six Nations. Several players are to be given debuts over the next three games so expect to see some new names. Chris Robshaw has retained the captaincy after impressing for his club so far this season. Australia have announced that James Horiwll will be replaced as captain by Ben Mowen, who made his Australia debut against the Lions in June. Horiwll has disappointed with his form this year for club and country leaving the coach with little choice but to remove the captaincy. England €“ Billy Vunipola, Tom Wood, Dan Cole, Mike Brown, Joel Tomkins, Billy Twelvetrees, Chris Robshaw, Courtney Lawes, Joe Launchbury, Tom Youngs, Marland Yarde, Owen Farrel, Lee Dickson, Mako Vunipola and Chris Ashton. Replacements €“ Dylan Hartley, Joe Marler, David Wilson, Dave Attwood, Ben Morgan, Ben Youngs, Toby Flood, Ben Foden. Australia €“ Ben Mowen, Scot Fardy, Michael Hooper, Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Nick Cummins, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, James Slipper, Stpehen Moore, Ben Alexander, Sitaleki Timani and James Horwill. Replacements €“ Saia Fainga€™a, Benn Robinson, Sekope Kepu, Kane Douglas, Ben McCalman, Nic White, Christian Leali€™ifano, Bernard Foley.
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A sport, gaming and fiction enthusiast, I particularly enjoy Formula 1, rugby, tennis, athletics and football.