England spring surprise as Farrell starts at 10 v Australia

Tanya Simon
October 17, 2019

(BST) in Oita Stadium, Oita.

However, Jones seems to be seeking to combat Australia's midfield power, dropping Ford to the bench and giving Slade his first start of the tournament.

England vs Australia in the first quarter-final of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Vunipola came off the bench against Argentina two weeks ago in a rare appearance since injuring his hamstring in early May.

Courtney Lawes is preferred to George Kruis in the second row while Billy Vunipola also makes his 13th consecutive start for England having recovered from his ankle injury.

"Australia are a clever team, they will have some specific attacking strategies to play against us so we need to have a great situational awareness", he said. The coach has consistently said he would be happy to shuffle that combination depending on the opposition and, having returned to Farrell at 12 in Japan, has shifted him back to 10 to deliver a tough-tackling backline barrier.

'We've left a lot of good players, out of the squad of 31 and they're disappointed but he's got a significant role with us to play. England have won their last six matches against Australia since losing to them in the pool stage of the 2015 World Cup, a defeat that knocked the hosts out.

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Kick-off is at 9:15 with the victor of Saturday's first quarter-final set to face either New Zealand or Ireland on 26 October in Yokohama. Eminem's hit track "Lose Yourself", something the two-time champions are banking won't happen to the youngster in a pressure cooker environment.

England got here prime of Pool C after beating Tonga, the US and Argentina earlier than having their closing match towards France cancelled.

Allan Ala'alatoa, Michael Hooper, Will Genia, Christian Lealiifano also return to the starting line-up after Australia beat Georgia 27-8 in their final pool game.

Eddie Jones, in charge of the Wallabies back then is now Mitchell's boss in the England set-up.

The 19-year-old passed that assignment with flying colours, bagging a try and a sweet assist to celebrate becoming Australia's youngest World Cup player.

"We just feel that's the best combination for this week; [Kerevi] is a risky ball-carrier and whoever they pick at 13, if they pick the other big Fijian boy [Petaia], they've got two big ball-carriers", Jones said.

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