Manu Tuilagi named on the bench for England’s Test vs Australia
Manu Tuilagi has been named on the bench for England’s match against Australia while Jamie George is preferred to Dylan Hartley at hooker.
Tuilagi, who last played for England during the 2016 Six Nations, missed their first three autumn Tests due to a groin injury but he has been passed fit for Saturday’s Twickenham Test with the Wallabies, live on Sky Sports Action.
England co-captain Hartley is also among the replacements as head coach Eddie Jones sticks with George at hooker for the second successive game.
Jones has made nine changes to the team that came from behind to beat Japan, with Ben Youngs and Owen Farrell restored at half-back.
Brad Shields and Sam Underhill return to the back row with Mark Wilson reverting to No 8, with Nathan Hughes providing impact from the bench on his return from suspension.
Courtney Lawes moves into the second row to partner Maro Itoje while props Ben Moon and Kyle Sinckler pack down either side of George after impressing when introduced against Japan.
With Jack Nowell and Chris Ashton sidelined due to injury, Joe Cokanasiga is retained on the right wing after his try-scoring debut against the Brave Blossoms.
Elliot Daly and Jonny May complete the back three with Henry Slade and Ben Te’o the centre partnership.
England have won five successive Tests against Australia, with their last defeat coming in the pool stages of the 2015 World Cup.
“We’ve picked our best 23 for the Australia game,” said Jones. “We know they have a unique style of attack so our ability to defend that is going to be important.
England vs Australia
November 24, 2018, 2:00pm
“We are continually working on our strengths which is our set piece and our defence and they are areas that are progressing nicely.
“I’m really happy with the direction we’re going in terms of the way we play the game. We are developing a unique style of rugby, which is English and the players are proud to play that way.”
England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Ben Moon, 2 Jamie George, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Courtney Lawes, 6 Brad Shields, 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Mark Wilson.
Replacements: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Wilson, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 George Ford, 23 Manu Tuilagi.
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