Let’s take a look at what is being said and the squad teams ahead of England’s clash with Australia’s old rivals at Twickenham on Saturday night (5.30pm kickoff) …
Can Tuilagi beat him for England?
Never one who sticks to conventions, Eddie Jones took him by surprise when he named his England team for Saturday’s second fall match.
Manu Tuilagi was called on the wing for the showdown with Australia, the first time the center appeared in a broad position since the 2014 New Zealand tour under Jones’ predecessor Stuart Lancaster.
It was an experiment that was quickly abandoned, but the current England manager has now decided to field the 30-year-old out right side against Australia and cited the example of Frenchman Gael Fickou as one he wants him to follow.
“I see a powerful player who is probably in the best shape of his career, who will add ball players that we have inside and complement the moves we have,” said Jones. “He will be able to move on the pitch, play as a second or third center.
“Last season, Gael Fickou played on the French wing and he was exceptional. The game lends itself to a powerful center, so we can’t wait for him to play there.”
Tuilagi’s selection on the wing means that Adam Radwan, who made four tries in two appearances with his score in the 69-3 win over Tonga, is eliminated from the team and his midfield move sees skipper Owen Farrell reinstated in the n . 12 shirt.
Marcus Smith also makes a much anticipated start as opening half and Jones is eager to see how he will perform against one of the top nations after impressing against the United States, Canada and Tonga.
“Marcus knows he has to build his game,” Jones said. “I’ve been really impressed with him since I started working with him every day since the summer tour.
“He is progressing well, but it is his biggest test because he has not yet played against a level one country.”
Can Australia Make Memory Last a Lifetime?
Australia head to Twickenham with the aim of ending a seven-game losing streak to England, including a 40-16 defeat in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals two years ago.
Prior to last weekend’s 15-13 defeat to Scotland at Murrayfield, the Wallabies had won five straight games and showed signs of improvement since the appointment of Dave Rennie as head coach.
Victory over England on Saturday would mark Australia’s first over them since a 33-13 win at Twickenham during the 2015 World Cup group stage and that’s something not to be missed in scrum-half Nic White.
“We have a great opportunity to go for something that not many Australian teams have done before,” White said.
“Some of our guys have never played there before, for some guys it’s been a long time since we played there. So what an opportunity.
“Winning at home is nice, but when you do it away from home, it’s really special. And it’s something you’ll remember for the rest of your life.”
A rivalry has resumed
The rivalry between England and Australia is a rivalry that transcends sport and no one knows this better than the home team manager.
Originally from Sydney and having led the Wallabies when they were defeated by England in the 2003 Rugby World Cup final, Jones has a keen sense of what this rivalry is all about.
He has not yet suffered a defeat at home since he took over the leadership of the English team six years ago and has warned his team that they will face an Australian team on Saturday night.
🗣️ Test speech
▪ Maro on 50 capsules
▪ Eddie on Manu at the wing
This and other news from within both camps of England ⤵
– England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) November 11, 2021
“It doesn’t matter if it’s the Olympics, Test cricket, rugby league – this is the game that defines their season,” Jones said.
“This is the game they want to win. We have a bit of an inferiority complex against the British, the Australians.”
The Wallabies White scrum-half is wary of falling into the trap of trying to beat Jones in the pre-match psychological battle.
“He’s the king of mind games, the kind of guy you’d like to sit with, have a beer and then talk rugby,” White said.
England: 15 Freddie Steward; 14 Manu Tuilagi, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Jonny May; 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Ellis Genge, 2 Jamie George, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Jonny Hill, 6 Courtney Lawes, 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Tom Curry.
Substitutions: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Bevan Rodd, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Alex Dombrandt, 21 Sam Simmonds, 22 Raffi Quirke, 23 Max Malins.
Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale; 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau; 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Tom Wright; 10 James O’Connor, 9 Nic White; 1 Angus Bell, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 3 James Slipper, 4 Rory Arnold, 5 Izack Rodda, 6 Rob Leota, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 8 Rob Valentini.
Substitutions: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Noah Lolesio, 23 Izaia Perese.