Fresh-looking side for England
London - Two years from the Rugby World Cup, England coach Stuart Lancaster would have hoped to bed down a largely settled team yet he goes into Saturday's Test against Australia with a line-up littered by question marks. Joel Tomkins makes his debut in yet another new centre partnership alongside Billy Twelvetrees, No 8 Billy Vunipola makes his first start and wing Marlon Yarde his second. Lee Dickson has forced himself back ahead of British and Irish Lions starter Ben Youngs at scrumhalf while Courtney Lawes gets another chance to establish himself in the second row.
Ever the pragmatist, however, the upbeat coach will welcome the chance to give more high-tension game time to some of the fresher faces while his decision to reward Dickson for his early-season performances at Northampton will send a clear message that players will be picked on form, not reputation. The coach has promised to take on the Wallabies, as well as Argentina and New Zealand later in November, playing an attacking brand of rugby that will get the fans behind England.
With Dickson, Twelvetrees, Yarde and Tomkins in the side there is certainly potential for more fireworks than the Twickenham faithful have become used to, last year's stunning victory over New Zealand being a shining exception. Dickson's effervescent outlook sets the tone, Yarde is a real game-changer, as evidenced by his wonderful two-try debut against the Pumas in June, and Tomkins, 26, brings power to the midfield.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at SPORT24Similar Stories