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Australia v England preview: Team news, kick-off time, line-ups and stats for the first summer Test

  • Owen Farrell will start at fly-half for England in Saturday’s first Test against Australia in Brisbane with George Ford dropping to the bench: 11am kick-off
  • Harlequins winger Marland Yarde starts instead of Exeter’s Jack Nowell while Luther Burrell starts in the centre
  • Australia coach Michael Cheika has named three debutants in his starting XV
Sparks should fly both on and off the field in Australia as the Wallabies face off with Eddie Jones’ England for bragging rights, starting this Saturday at the Suncorp Stadium.

It is hard not to laugh at how the script has worked out for Jones, with their first tour seeing him go back to his home country to settle some scores. Then all roads continue to lead to Japan and his former job in Test rugby where England hope to push for 2019 World Cup glory.

The England head coach has replaced George Ford with Owen Farrell at fly-half for England’s opening Test against Australia in Brisbane on Saturday.

Luther Burrell replaces Farrell at inside centre, while Marland Yarde is picked on the wing ahead of Jack Nowell, who is named as a replacement.

Coach Eddie Jones has opted to start with the same pack which began the final Six Nations game against France.

England secured the Grand Slam with a 31-21 victory in Paris, but they have never won a Test series in Australia, winning just three of 17 Tests down under.

But the Wallabies aren’t the same side that beat England at the Rugby World Cup and will be without Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell and Adam Ashley-Cooper while injuries account for Kurtley Beale, Henry Speight and Joe Tomane’s absence.

Centre Samu Kerevi, lock Rory Arnold and winger Dane Haylett-Petty as a result come in for their Test debuts  as the Aussies opt for bulk. Scrum-half Nick Frisby could also make his debut from the replacements’ bench.
PREVIOUS MEETINGS

2015: Australia won 33-13 at Twickenham
2014: England won 26-17 at Twickenham
2013: England won 20-13 at Twickenham
2012: Australia won 20-14 at Twickenham
2010: England won 35-18 at Twickenham
2010: England won 21-20 in Sydney
2010: Australia won 27-17 in Perth
2009: Australia won 18-9 at Twickenham

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Australia: Samu Kerevi

England: Maro Itoje

PREDICTION

A touch of rust may be in the Australian game as they open their season with a number of debutants while their Six nations Grand Slam winning visitors with a decently settled team could win it. England by 7.

LINE UPS

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 James Horwill, 20 Dean Mumm, 21 Sean McMahon, 22 Nick Frisby, 23 Christian Lealiifano
England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 James Haskell, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Courtney Lawes, 21 Danny Care, 22 George Ford, 23 Jack Nowell

Date: Saturday, June 11
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 20:00 local (10:00 GMT)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant Referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Glen Jackson (New Zealand)