AUTUMN INTERNATIONALS: ENGLAND v AUSTRALIA



  • Venue: Twickenham

  • Date: Saturday 2 November

  • Kick-off: 14:30 GMT


Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live & online. Watch highlights on BBC Three, online and on mobiles: Saturday 20:00-21:00 GMT; repeated on BBC Two on Sunday from 13:20 GMT



England will take on Australia at Twickenham on Saturday looking for a flying start to the autumn Test series.


Stuart Lancaster's men also face Argentina and New Zealand on consecutive weekends as they look to build momentum for the 2015 World Cup.


England are without five of their Lions tourists and will feature two new caps in Joel Tomkins and Billy Vunipola.


"We need to get our own detail right and hit the ground running," said assistant coach Andy Farrell.



England's autumn series



  • England v Australia (14:30 GMT) - 2 November

  • England v Argentina (14:30) -9 November

  • England v New Zealand (14:30) - 16 November



"Injuries are inevitable, you've got to have a strong squad and a strong culture to cope with that, and we're certainly confident with what we've got."


The 26-year-old Tomkins, who switched codes from rugby league in 2011, partners Billy Twelvetrees in midfield, while number eight Vunipola joins brother Mako in the pack.


Marland Yarde wins his second cap on the wing, while scrum-half Lee Dickson is preferred to Ben Youngs, who played for the British and Irish Lions during their 2-1 series win in Australia earlier this year.


Lock Geoff Parling, flanker Tom Croft, prop Alex Corbisiero and centres Manu Tuilagi and Brad Barritt are the five English Lions players who miss out through injury.


England lost 20-14 to Australia in the same fixture last year before a narrow loss to South Africa and a record 38-21 victory over New Zealand.



Expert analysis



"No-one at open-side is playing better than Chris Robshaw is and so his selection as captain is massively justified. If England lose, he will get some stick again but the facts are there for everyone to see. There isn't another open-side playing out of his skin and demanding the shirt - if there was, he'd be playing instead of Robshaw."




But at the end of a promising Six Nations campaign they saw their Grand Slam hopes dashed in a 30-3 rout by Wales at Cardiff.


While the Lions toured Australia, England won both their Tests in Argentina with a largely second-string squad that included several of the players that will start on Saturday.


Flanker Tom Wood captained England in Argentina, but will hand the armband back to open-side colleague Chris Robshaw on Saturday. Wood, though, will provide additional leadership and help instil the required levels of performance.


"It's all about intensity and if you've got it, you've got it," said Wood. "England is your club level plus 20 per cent and more.


"We don't have to have a kicking from the coaches or be dragged through the mud by the press before we have a reaction and say 'yeah, we're up for it'.


"We have to set our own standards. This is England and this is what we are about. The new guys have to realise that. Otherwise you lose."


Australia have won three of their 10 internationals in 2013 - one against the Lions, and two versus Argentina in a disappointing Rugby Championship campaign which saw them finish a distance third behind New Zealand and South Africa.



England 14-20 Australia


England 14-20 Australia - 2012 Highlights



The Wallabies, who lost their most recent match 41-33 to New Zealand on 19 October, have brought in number eight Ben Mowen as skipper for the second time in place of James Horwill.


"I'd say this is the most focused I've seen the side, this last couple of months, from my short time being involved," said Mowen, who won his first cap in the 23-21 defeat by the Lions in June.


"The fixture is obviously very important to both sides. It usually brings the best out of Australian players so we can't wait."


Quade Cooper is back in favour at fly-half for the Wallabies under new coach Ewen McKenzie, having been left out of the Lions series by McKenzie's predecessor Robbie Deans.


"He's a box of tricks but he has a lot of control in his game as well, and has matured a lot over the last year or so," said Farrell of Cooper.


"I think he's enjoying his rugby, and that's always a threat."


TEAM LINE-UPS


England: 15-Mike Brown, 14-Chris Ashton, 13-Joel Tomkins, 12-Billy Twelvetrees, 11-Marlon Yarde, 10-Owen Farrell, 9-Lee Dickson; 1 -Maku Vunipola, 2-Tom Youngs, 3-Dan Cole, 4-Joe Launchbury, 5-Courtney Lawes, 6-Tom Wood, 7-Chris Robshaw (captain), 8-Billy Vunipola.


Replacements: 16-Dylan Hartley, 17-Joe Marler, 18-Dave Wilson, 19-Dave Attwood, 20-Ben Morgan, 21-Ben Youngs, 22-Toby Flood, 23-Ben Foden


Australia: 15-Israel Folau, 14-Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13-Tevita Kuridrani, 12-Matt Toomua, 11-Nick Cummins, 10-Quade Cooper, 9-Will Genia, 8-Ben Mowen, 7-Michael Hooper, 6-Scott Fardy, 5-James Horwill, 4-Sitaleki Timani, 3-Ben Alexander, 2-Stephen Moore, 1-James Slipper


Replacements: 16-Saia Fainga'a, 17-Benn Robinson, 18-Sekope Kepu, 19-Kane Douglas, 20-Ben McCalman, 21-Nic White, 22-Christian Leali'ifano, 23-Bernard Foley.