Home Rugby A Combined England-Australia XV Right Now

A Combined England-Australia XV Right Now

England and Australia take to the field on Saturday in their final autumn international. But if Eddie Jones or Michael Cheika could pick from both squads available at Twickenham, who would make the XV?

This XV is based on the players available on Saturday, so certain picks such as Maro Itoje, Billy Vunipola and Will Genia are not considered.

The breakdown in the forwards is England 5-3 Australia, but behind the scrum Australia take it 4-3.

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1. Mako Vunipola

On current form, the England loosehead has overtaken Wallaby Scott Sio as the best No. 1 in the loose. An improving set piece means the Saracens man gets the nod.

2. Dylan Hartley

Hartley’s superior scrummaging and lineout holds off Stephen Moore. Into the twilight of their careers, neither hooker makes much of an impact in the loose.

3. Dan Cole

Probably the hardest decision in the XV given Sekope Kefu’s great ball-playing skills. To justify his selection, Cole needs be more consistent at the breakdown. He wins plenty of turnovers for a prop, but too often also infringes. The best operators keep the referee on side.

4. Rory Arnold

The giant gets in ahead of a Courtney Lawes still struggling to impose himself.

5. George Kruis

England’s lineout manager will look to recreate his Six Nations form against Adam Coleman.

6. Chris Robshaw

The ex-captain is close to the first name on Eddie Jones’ team sheet.

7. Michael Hooper

Because he’s been the best openside in the world for at least two years.

8. David Pocock

Not yet at the lofty heights of the World Cup, but with Billy Vunipola injured, Pocock is a shoo-in at No. 8.

9. Ben Youngs

Will Genia would be in, but Stade Francais aren’t releasing him. Youngs may be inconsistent, but he offers a lot more than Nick Phipps.

10. Bernard Foley

It’s close, but Foley offers more of a running threat than George Ford.

11. Jonny May

A marginal call, but the Gloucester wing is more lethal than Henry Speight.

12. Owen Farrell

Has the experience and goal-kicking to beat Reece Hodge to the jersey.

13. Tevita Kurindrani

Tough on Jonathan Joseph, but a powerhouse centre compliments this backline.

14. Dane Haylett-Petty

Superb against Ireland, Haylett-Petty had a fine Super Rugby season. No doubt that he supplants Marland Yarde.

15. Israel Folau

Imperious in the air and joining the line. Streets ahead of Mike Brown.

Daniel Rey, Pundit Arena

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