Wednesday 24 May 2017

England axe Ford

Farrell has grown over the last six months, getting the nod over old rival George Ford for the England No. 10 spot. Photo: PA Wire
Farrell has grown over the last six months, getting the nod over old rival George Ford for the England No. 10 spot. Photo: PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The three principal 'Bodyline' performers have been put in place by Eddie Jones, charged with delivering the raw, aggressive, whatever-it-takes rugby that will enable England to create history by winning a series in Australia for the first time.

Owen Farrell, Luther Burrell and Marland Yarde head the cast, the most significant of the four changes from the side who rounded off a Grand Slam in March by beating France in Paris, all too aware that they will have to perform at a higher level at the Suncorp Stadium tomorrow if they are to overcome a team who so comprehensively beat them in the World Cup.

Jones called for greater astuteness and more calculated thinking, as well as enhanced levels of physicality.

Farrell has grown over the last six months, become more rounded, more selective, more aware - which is why he has got the nod over old rival George Ford.

"Owen has now got a greater appreciation of how you win games," said Jones.

"His ability to read the game is better. He has always been a physical, in-your-face sort of player. He's still got that but now he sits back as well, has a look where the space is and is a bit calmer about his decisions."

Michael Cheika has attempted to counter England's vow to play an aggressive style by handing a surprise debut to a former third XV pub player who will become the tallest man to have represented the Wallabies.

Rory Arnold (25) may be in only his second professional season with the ACT Brumbies, but Cheika believes his formidable 6ft 9in, 19st frame can bring a decisive physical edge to his pack, as well as pressurise England's line-out during the first Test at the Suncorp stadium.

Irish Independent

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