Thursday 19 September 2019

Farrell returns to central role for showdown with Wallabies

England head coach Eddie Jones. Photo: Reuters
England head coach Eddie Jones. Photo: Reuters

Eddie Jones believes England will benefit from the return of "great competitor" Owen Farrell for tomorrow's clash with Australia at Twickenham (3.0).

Farrell was rested for England's opening November Test against Argentina but returns at inside centre to face the Wallabies.

Farrell replaces Henry Slade and Jones expects him to make his presence felt against Michael Cheika's men. "He is a good communicator and a great competitor," said Jones.

Jonny May returns from a hamstring strain on the right wing and Anthony Watson starts at full-back for the first time as Mike Brown has not recovered from concussion.

Meanwhile, Tom Croft, the Lions, England and Leicester flanker, has retired from rugby with immediate effect, bowing out on medical grounds after receiving advice on a neck injury.

The 31-year-old collected 40 caps for England and featured in five Tests for the British and Irish Lions over two tours in 2009 and 2013.

Unchanged

Elsewhere, the Wallabies have named an unchanged team following their 29-21 victory against Wales at the Principality Stadium.

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Cornell du Preez will make his first start for Scotland after being included in Gregor Townsend's side to face New Zealand at BT Murrayfield tomorrow (5.15).

Du Preez is one of two enforced changes by Townsend, with Zander Fagerson also coming into the side that beat Samoa 44-38 last weekend, with WP Nel and Ryan Wilson ruled out through injury.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has named a fearsome side for the encounter, making just one change to their starting team that beat France 39-18. Codie Taylor starts at hooker following Dane Coles' cruciate injury, while captain and No 8 Kieran Read has overcome his groin strain.

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