Australia visit Twickenham on the last weekend of the Autumn Internationals looking to exact revenge on the England side that humiliated them in the summer.
England won the Test series 3-0 in Australia after not being given a chance in the build up. England are unbeaten in their series thus far, despite injuries to many key players, and will equal the previous run of 14 victories on the bounce with victory over Australia. They have won all 13 matches under Eddie Jones thus far.
Team news for England sees Marland Yarde controversially chosen over Bath flyer, Semesa Rokoduguni, and Nathan Hughes coming in for the injured Billy Vunipola for his first start in his adoptive country’s number 8 jersey. Australia have recalled Kane Douglas and Lopeti Timani to the side, as well as Nick Phipps coming in at scrum half.
Billy Vunipola is a huge loss to Jones’s side. Alongside Chris Robshaw he has been England’s most consistent player, and has been absolutely crucial to 12/13 wins, with him missing the Wales game in May due to his club duties. Nathan Hughes has one hell of a task on his hands to fill his role.
England again need to bully Australia, who themselves are much improved since their nightmare summer against England and in the Rugby Championship. They had a good autumn until they lost to Ireland last week, although they staged an impressive comeback before Keith Earls’ deciding try.
England have always held a set piece dominance over Australia, besides the game in the World Cup 2015 when Australia blew England away up front. Eddie Jones has said that they again will focus on basing their game around a dominant set piece.
This will be the key to the game, but I do not think the scoreline will be dominated by 3 point scores. I believe it will be a very open game between two quality sides. Tevita Kuridrani has been absolutely brilliant for Australia, scoring 4 tries in his 4 autumn internationals, he is in red hot form and will be a real handful for England’s defence.
Australia’s changes seem like Michael Cheika wants to out-muscle England and give them a taste of their own medicine. We are in for a real treat.
In Australia’s last game of the season, expect them to give absolutely everything against their epic rivals. England are looking to go 4/4 against Australia this year and equal their highest ever winning run. This match will be absolutely huge. I expect England to win, but only just, with the game being a high scoring one to light Twickenham up one last time in 2016.
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Read More About: austraila rugby, billy vunipola, chris robshaw, eddie jones, england rugby, kane douglas, Keith Earls, Lopeti Timani, marland yarde, michael cheika, nathan hughes, Nick Phipps, Semesa Rokoduguni, Tevita Kuridrani