England team to play Australia in 3rd Test

Eddie Jones has named his team for the final Test against Australia in Sydney this weekend.

Teimana Harrison makes his first start, coming in for the injured James Haskell. Can they make it three from three?

“You have to work extremely hard to earn an England cap so there was no temptation to make changes for the sake of change,” said England head coach Jones. “To play for England you have to be in the best 23 and that’s what this selection represents.

England match-day 23 to face Australia at Allianz Stadium

15. Mike Brown (Harlequins, 51 caps)
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 23 caps)
13. Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 24 caps)
12. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 42 caps)
11. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 16 caps)
10. George Ford (Bath Rugby, 24 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 60 caps)

1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 34 caps)
2. Dylan Hartley (captain, Northampton Saints, 74 caps)
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 64 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 6 caps)
5. George Kruis (Saracens, 17 caps)
6. Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 50 caps)
7. Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 28 caps)

16. Jamie George (Saracens, 7 caps)
17. Matt Mullan (Wasps 12 caps)
18. Paul Hill (Northampton Saints, 4 caps)
19. Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 34 caps)
20. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 48 caps)
21. Jack Clifford (Harlequins, 7 caps)
22. Danny Care (Harlequins, 61 caps)
23. Elliot Daly (Wasps, 4 caps)

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

37 thoughts on “England team to play Australia in 3rd Test

  1. Don’t change a winning formula, fair enough. Toomua coming is a concern, should add a lot more to their game.

    1. Improve his physicality? Be honest, would you trust Goode to make that tackle on Kuridrani? He’s proven numerous times at the highest level of test rugby that he is a little short on pace and is a liabilty taking contact. He’s also not scored a try in God knows how many caps. A historic series whitewash down under will hands down be the second greatest achievement of English Rugby and he’d be foolishly egotistical if he thinks one stellar season outweighs that or his reputation in test rugby. I say give him a chance against Fiji to earn a spot against Argentina in the autumn.

      1. Agrred, the jump from the premiership to international is too big for some players and Goode has been found wanting too many times in the England jersey.

        I like Jones’ philosophy – “you have to be one of the best 23 to pull on the jersey” – and Goode isn’t in that 23.

    2. Run in to contact in straight lines with the ball too often without even thinking of passing the ball?

      Develop a hair trigger temper?

      Shave his head?

      1. I’m guessing you’re referring to the player credentials for the England football team here and not a certain Rugby union england 15!
        Just trying to answer your cryptic comments – honest!

  2. Makes sense not to change things, we’ll miss Haskell but I am looking forward to seeing what Harrison can do.

    He’s resisted the temptation to rotate which must have been difficult, but it is important to stay in the winning habit!

    Slightly concerned about Toomua, what a player he is. We need a better line out this week if we are going to win this match.

  3. So all the talk of resting players was nonsense, no surprise there. I think Harrison is much more similar to Haskell compared to Clifford, so I can understand that. Still think it’s a shame that Goode hasn’t had a chance to show his improved talent, even off the bench, but Daly covers more positions.

    I can see England winning this, but not by 16 points!! I think Harrison will be tasked with keeping Toomua under close scrutiny, and Itoje and Kruis to pressure Foley.

  4. I’m surprised to see Brown still there, final chance maybe? Or maybe Goode is just not physical enough for what Jones wants, Brown is certainly more of a firely and aggressive player

  5. Guess Harrison is a like for like replacement for Haskell,

    As for Goode, he’s unlucky but there’s a reason why EJ is not picking him and I very much doubt its spite. Presumably he doesn’t fit into the strategy / isn’t showing what EJ is looking for at training.

    My only (slight) disappointment with this team is that I would have liked to see either Genge or Sinckler get a chance to show what they can do from the bench. But can understand why not

    As for the Aussies, Toomua is a great player but just back from injury so may be rusty and susceptible to pressure.

    The choice of Skelton in the Aussie team should make line-outs easier for England as he can’t jump. He adds a bit more weight to their pack but I’ve never thought him particularly impressive. I don’t think the Wallabies really know what they are doing with their locks.

    Also pleased to see no Kerevi who I thought was one ofn their more dangerous players. I’d thought we’d have seen him at 13

    1. Agreed on Skelton and their lock situation, seems to be all over the place. I’d rather have Skelton in there than Arnold or Horwill, I don’t think his carrying power will get him through our defence.

      Watch him run through us now!

    2. I don’t think he ever had the intention of playing Genge or Sinckler, but wanted a proper look at them, see how they trained (see if they are “desperate” enough), give them clear guidance on what they need to do better.

      They fit the EJ template, really abrasive, and just love to go over the top of someone and I’m sure they’ve benefited from the experience.

      On Skelton, I’m surprised he’s not featured off the bench, coming in now looks to be a reaction of not being able to batter their way over the line. He’s not the easiest to stop from close range.

      1. I’m sure you’re right Matt and I’m sure they will benefit from the experience. Just personally would have liked to see what they could do against a top-class side.

  6. I expected a few more changes, he’ll have to go to the bench much earlier. Replacement props are quite a big step down from the starters, but I don’t think we lose much elsewhere.

    I do fear it will be a game too far and Aus will take it. But good to see there is none of my “I’ll still be content if we lose this one” attitude in the camp.

  7. You don’t tinker with winning unless you have a campaign to attend too: World cup’s or for example, NZ’s changes ahead of the RC. Also, the aussie group going into the RC will be different with the returning players from France – They did their experimenting with their fringe players against us which they saw as less risky than exposing their test novices to their big contest the RC – which is fine, but no doubt certain aussie fans will always have an asterix next to it because we didn’t beat a Matt Giteau team.

    As to the desire to not tinker which many forum warriors want (based on prem, not test form which always seems so ridiculous to me) , directly from Head coach (sir) Eddie Jones said: “You have to work extremely hard to earn an England cap so there was no temptation to make changes for the sake of change. To play for England you have to be in the best 23 and that’s what this selection represents.”

    Alex Goode – not a test player – he doesn’t demonstrate the work rate that EJ is looking for. One of the big transformations EJ has made happen is players ability to get on their feet and back into the game. I nauseatingly watched back Saracens and Quins games last night and genuinely Brown is back on his feet and in a position to affect the game more often than Goode – although Goode’s highlights are more compelling. Brown has flaws, but he is more of a test match player because of his work rate.

    Sinckler and Genge – grooming exercise. The All Blacks took Ardi Savea away on their last tour. They had no intention of playing him, but wanted him exposed to the environment. They have form having done the same with Kieran read and Sam Cane during their long apprenticeships. If the budget allows and the players know this from the outset I see it as a net positive.

    Psychological – firstly naming the same team shows how durable this squad is – no injuries of note whereas Australia have had a few notable ones. Secondly it says we aren’t scared and we don’t NEED to change. Master stroke.

    1. Geraint Hill

      To tinker, or not to tinker, that is the ?

      H’ever, the ABs blood guys for the here & now as well as the future. These are not nec mutually exclusive.

      NZ chucked on heaps today & these guys had the exp of winning by their biggest margin v Wales. Agree abt the exp being (in)valuable.

      Thought Ardi Savea & Moala would have gone (& played some part in the last WC), but did so today.

      If E’land had injuries today, e.g. Daly would heve been thrown in at the deep end.

      1. Geraint Hill

        Actually Daly WAS thrown in at the deep end. Similarly to Clifford. That it was all over by then meant that it didn’t matter, but there will come a time when it WILL matter.

        What then?

        Still think that EJ is of a conservative nature, hence he is ‘risk averse’ in sticking with his tried & tested, e.g. playing 2 blind sides. That England prevailed in Oz 3 zip doesn’t hide this flawed policy.

        The ? could be asked as to whether the ABs have exposed the English breakdown today. Well, we’ll won’t know for 2 yrs, but I suspect it would have been a harder day @ the breakdown rock face for them if these 2 teams had played each other instead

        Jones also has to look @ his defence. Shipping 40 has to be of concern, esp with the 2 wingers being so exposed.

        May need to reconsider ‘Splashdown’?

        Like I postulated, ‘to tinker, or not’?

        1. I don’t necessarily think there is an ingrained issue with the defence, last week it was immense – it was just one of those days where a few missed tackles happened. Mass changes are needed, the squad simply need to be reminded that the defensive standards need to match that second test match.

          On the Daly thing – no team in the world would plan for that. We’d made all our subs in the 75th minute, hardly a crazy thing to do and then got an injury.

          Why would Daly have been thrown in the deep end for any normal reason? He can play from 12 to 15, and has a few caps now off the bench so I don’t really understand the issue you’re trying to make.

          Jones is making the best of what he has. England don’t have a stand out 7 so he is using Haskell there to great affect – he obviously has his eye on Underhill moving forward as well as Clifford as an option. Considering Haskell has proven he can compete with a back row with two 7s in it I would consider that good decision making, no conservative. He has also instilled the two playmakers method that has been a gamble (in comparison to how England have traditionally played), and one that has gone incredibly well.

          England have proven that they can win test matches in a variety of ways. Today they moved it more and played very well. Last week it hammered down with rain so they used their boot and won without the ball.

          1. Jacob

            You’re looking thru the wrong end of the telescope. The ABs don’t sit their guys on the bench forever. Look @ the midfield combos v Wales. Some will come thru to replace Nonu & Smith.

            If they’re good enough, they’ll come good (or not) in action.

            Daly’s never had a real go & he’s been ‘available’ for long enough now, so if he’s good enough he needs REGULAR game time. Even if it involves regular rotation.

            If there’s a serious injury, what then?

            The risk is that you ‘bit part’ players (like Cip) til they are essentially marginalised.

            1. There was almost never an occasion that the AB’s played a top tier nation, with Nonu and Smith fit, that did not see them start. So to suggest other centres haven’t spent the last decade on the bench is fairly disingenuous.

              Playing Daly when Jones believes JJ is a better player isn’t helping anyone. If JJ gets injured pre-AI’s, we’d have a talented Daly getting a shot after having 6 or 7 caps from the bench – considering in Jones’ era there has only been 9 fixtures, and already talented young players like Daly, Hill, Itoje, Clifford etc have all been given good shots, it seems as though England are widening their player pool significantly.

              1. Jacob

                Course the ABs started with Nonu, Smith. They’d been an established, proven world pairing for yonks. However, SB for instance, did get significant game time incl in the biggies, i.e. the WCs.. & elsewhere.

                My pt is that with Nonu & Smith now being out of the frame, Hansen is giving plenty of centres a run in a full test series v Wales. Has to to an extent, but when there have been/will be injuries he didn’t/is unlikely to get so caught with his pants down.

                Despite the 6N & v Oz, Jones still has centres (& wings exposed on ‘D’) who’ve missed important tackles (not just LB), esp in the latter series, shipping 40 for e.g.

                That being the case, if Daly is as good as you opine, then he needs more, significant game time.

                Teo, too, has been an orange boy.

                As for Slade? Well, as he’s had so little int’al exposure, the last time I saw him play, he couldn’t catch, wouldn’t catch a straight fwd pass etc x3.. in 1 game!

                If OF (still a fly1/2 by trade) or JJ had got crocked in the recent matches, who would have plugged the gap/s?

                Fair enough, Itoje has been given a run & to an extent Hill, but compare game time between Itoje & Daly (not so Teo or Slade), then this discrepancy is palpable.

                That’s how I see it anyway. It’s no skin off mine, or more to the pt, NZ’s if there is a gap in England’s exp.. esp with the Lions looming nxt yr.

      2. There is a big difference between bringing in some new blood with the series won a against a team you are significantly better than attempting to create history and produce a sequence of results even the Lions haven’t managed.

        When you can get a consistent performance with one team then you have the luxury of being able to bring in new/different players. We are still striving for consistency and now is not the time for lots of chopping and changing.

        1. Matt

          You need to do BOTH… @ the same time.

          Crotty was the only ‘exp’ centre for NZ. The rest weren’t & in the last test v Wales the ‘novices’ fitted pretty seamlessly into a backline/team which put 46 on their oppo!

          They got BETTER with each game, fixing prev ‘D’ deficiencies & scoring across the board. Do the much lauded (again) Ford or Farrell cut teams to pieces like Barrett (who is not even 1st choice 1st 5)?!

          Something to do with coaching, S Rugby & having a national cohesion in the way the (esp NZ?) game is played, from grassroots kiddies to Int’al level, I expect.

  8. My only worry is that if Farrell or Ford get crocked we will have to revert to playing with only one creative player in the back line, and no big ball carrier either!?

    1. Daly is a creative player – not in the mold of Slade, Farrell or Goode but certainly more than Joseph, T’eo or Burrell. Could definitely do a job at 12 there

      1. Daly is more creative than the others, but still not what I would call a creative player. As you say, Slade, Farrell or Goode maybe, but if Farrell or Ford get injured Daly is covering that creative option. I hope he gets a chance to come on and prove me wrong though!!

    2. Dazza

      Valid pt. Like Brexit, you are right to ‘worry’… if ‘Farrell or Ford get crocked’.

  9. Not too surprised, though some of the forwards must be close to exhausted. Still not convinced by Ford’s kicking from hand and think that Care is more of a threat and has a better pass than Youngs. If it is dry and a decent surface we will have to win a lot more ball than we did last week or we will get well beaten.

    1. Ford’s kicking was the best I’ve seen it last week. Keeping us in the right areas when he had the chance, and keeping the ball away from Folau as well.

  10. So which players has EJ just had holding tackle bags for the last three weeks? Slade, Goode…? If Slade hasn’t been back to his pre-injury best, I’m assuming that he’s in the camp for the exposure etc? It sounds as though there are a few players who perhaps were never going to play, bar a heavy injury toll.

  11. Just frustrates me that some of these lads have come off the back of a busy season, three works hard graft in Aus and then back to their respective clubs with minimal time off before a brutal pre-season. What a waste.

  12. A supposed tactical crisis in terms of game-play and player selection is suggested by a lot of the comments above!
    EJ has pulled off the biggest and longest running era of success since 2003! I know he’s an Aussie but come on!
    His selection was spot on! No need to rush players in prematurely whatsoever! He has a long term development plan in mind and the next WC is the objective! Daly/Slade et al will be fully phased in by then and that’s fine! Patience is required! Premature inclusion in the match day team results in the Teimana Harrison and Mathew Tait scenario! (the latter around 2007 for those who can’t remember!)
    IN becomes OUT very quickly or can do ! Look at the england football team!

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