Yarde and Hughes to face Wallabies

Date published: December 1 2016

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England head coach Eddie Jones has made two changes to his side to play Australia in Saturday’s final match of the year.

Nathan Hughes (Wasps) starts his first game for England at number eight replacing Billy Vunipola (Saracens) who was injured during last weekend’s victory over Argentina. Marland Yarde (Harlequins) returns to the right wing in a side which contains 607 caps while the bench remains unchanged.

“We’ve had a great week’s preparation and we can’t wait to get to Twickenham on Saturday with the crowd right behind us,” said Jones. 

“The great thing about our team is that no-one is irreplaceable. We’ve had seven influential players missing throughout the autumn but we’ve been able to fill that gap and that’s the sort of team we are developing.

"We want to make the game into a physical contest but we also need to be flexible and adaptable like we were against Argentina."

Jones added: “Most big Test matches come down to the last 20 minutes and if you look back historically at big Test matches between England and Australia at Twickenham the last 20 minutes has always been a time where either team can win the game. The team that is the most composed, makes good decisions and physically pushes themselves is the team that is going to win the game. 

"We want to make the game into a physical contest but we also need to be flexible and adaptable like we were against Argentina and if do that we’ll put ourselves in a good position to win the game." 

England have so far recorded victories over South Africa, Fiji and Argentina as they look to seal a series clean sweep and end the year unbeaten.

“We’ve played three Test matches on the trot which is important because it replicates a World Cup pool," he added.

"You get through the pool, you then need to win every game to win the World Cup. We’ve won three from three so it’s a great dress rehearsal for the World Cup.

"We need to win this game to progress to the next stage. You can’t just win three games to go through, Japan showed that, so we’ve got to get in that practice of winning four games on the trot against quality opposition.”

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 George Kruis, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Teimana Harrison, 21 Danny Care, 22 Ben Te’o, 23 Henry Slade

Date: Saturday, December 3
Venue: Twickenham
Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

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