Stuart Barnes picks his combined England-Australia XV - Ruck

Stuart Barnes picks his combined England-Australia XV

Former England fly-half and Sky Sports commentator has picked his combined England/Wallabies team ahead of the pair’s clash this weekend.

“The 8-7 split, English over Australian is a reflection of how tight I think the game could be, and perhaps also how far England are behind the All Blacks.” wrote Barnes in the Times.

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“Kurtley Beale is in for his all-round game, the wings are a balance of pace and power, George Ford was the tightest call behind the scrum (Bernard Foley is an underrated footballer), Will Genia the easiest.

“Up front the headline selection is the omission of Dylan Hartley. As the team isn’t England, the leadership issue isn’t so pressing.


“Sean McMahon’s raw ability to go for 80 minutes edged him the No 8 slot over an in-form Nathan Hughes.”

Stuart Barnes combines XV: 15.Kurtley Beale, 14.Marika Koroibete, 13.Tevita Kuridrani, 12.Owen Farrell, 11.Jonny May, 10.George Ford, 9.Will Genia; 1.Mako Vunipola, 2.Jamie George, 3.Sekope Kepu, 4.Maro Itoje, 5.George Kruis, 6.Courtney Lawes, 7.Michael Hooper, 8.Sean McMahon
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