NOWELL RULED OUT BUT STARTS FOR SLADE AND MOON


INJURY has ruled Exeter Chiefs winger Jack Nowell out of Saturday’s Quilter International match against Australia at Twickenham.

The Cornishman has been struggling with a hamstring problem and his absence hands Bath’s Joe Cokanasiga a second start for his country.

Nowell’s Exeter team-mates Henry Slade and Ben Moon do come back into England’s starting line-up as Eddie Jones makes nine changes to the side that face Japan last week.

Jamie George (Saracens) retains his place at hooker with Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins) re-joining Moon in the starting front-row.

Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) shifts from the back-row to the second-row alongside Maro Itoje (Saracens). Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby) will start at open-side flanker with Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) moving to No 8 and Brad Shields (Wasps) returning to blindside flanker.

Co-captain Owen Farrell (Saracens) is named at fly half with Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors) and Slade as the centre pairing. Cokanasiga will play on the right wing with Jonny May (Leicester Tigers) named on the opposite side.

Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers) has been passed fit to play and is named as a finisher. The Tigers centre last played for England in 2016. Nathan Hughes (Wasps) is also included on the bench following the conclusion of his suspension.

Co-captain Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints) is in line to make a record 56th international appearance at Twickenham this weekend. He is currently level with Jason Leonard on 55 appearances at the home of England Rugby.

“We’ve picked our best 23 for the Australia game,” said Jones. “We know they have a unique style of attack so our ability to defend that is going to be important. We are continually working on our strengths which is our set piece and our defence and they are areas that are progressing nicely.

“Australia, we know are a traditional rival and we enjoy the occasion of playing them at Twickenham. The spirit of the fans has been outstanding. I think the atmosphere during these Quilter Internationals has been the best atmosphere I’ve certainly experienced and we encourage the fans to be at their robust best at the weekend.”

England have won their last five games against Australia and four of the last five at Twickenham against the Wallabies.

England starting XV: 15. Elliot Daly (Wasps, 24 caps), 14. Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 1 cap), 13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 16 caps), 12. Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors, 15 caps), 11. Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 39 caps), 10. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 64 caps) co-captain, 9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 79 caps), 1. Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs, 3 caps), 2. Jamie George (Saracens, 31 caps), 3. Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 16 caps), 4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 25 caps), 5. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 67 caps), 6. Brad Shields (Wasps, 4 caps), 7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 8 caps), 8. Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 7 caps).

Finishers: 16. Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 96 caps) co-captain, 17. Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs, 5 caps), 18. Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 14 caps), 19. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 9 caps), 20. Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 17 caps), 21. Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens, 32 caps), 22. George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 50 caps), 23. Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 26 caps).

 

Buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.