England v Australia: Stuart Lancaster relishing home comforts
Stuart Lancaster admits he's relishing a return to Twickenham after handing Joel Tomkins his international debut v Australia
England head coach Stuart Lancaster admits he’s relishing a return to Twickenham after handing centre Joel Tomkins his international debut for Saturday’s clash with Australia.
Cross-code convert Tomkins lines up at outside centre while there are also first Twickenham starts for winger Marland Yarde and Saracens back row Billy Vunipola.
Lee Dickson wins his tenth cap at scrum-half, partnering Owen Farrell at half-back, while British & Irish Lions Dan Cole and Tom Youngs also renew their rivalry with the Wallabies.
“It’s eight months since we played at our home and we are looking forward to getting back there for the QBE Internationals and what is a very important series for us two years out from the World Cup,” said Lancaster, whose side last played at Twickenham in this year’s RBS 6 Nations against Italy.
“I’m delighted for Joel. He has had a great week’s training and is ready for his chance. He has played in many high-profile games in his career so far and has a great temperament for the big occasion.
“Billy Vunipola and Marland Yarde made a big impression in Argentina and it’s going to be a special occasion for them to run out at Twickenham in front of 82,000 passionate supporters for the first time.
“We are looking forward to the challenge of playing Australia – they have made great strides under Ewen McKenzie and their new coaching team and they are formidable opponents.”
England team: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Chris Ashton (Saracens), Joel Tomkins (Saracens), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Marland Yarde (London Irish), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Lee Dickson (Northampton); Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Tom Youngs (Leicester), Dan Cole (Leicester), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Tom Wood (Northampton), Chris Robshaw (captain, Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens).
Replacements: Dylan Hartley (Northampton), Joe Marler Harlequins), David Wilson (Bath), Dave Attwood Bath), Ben Morgan (Gloucester), Ben Youngs (Leicester), Toby Flood (Leicester), Ben Foden (Northampton).