England kick off their summer tour against Australia in Perth today.
Courtney Lawes captains the side with Owen Farrell overlooked for the first time since 2018, with head coach Eddie Jones impressed with how the Northampton flanker deputised in the autumn and Six Nations. Farrell has made a full recovery from the ankle injuries and starts at 12 between between fly-half Marcus Smith and outside centre Joe Marchant.
Joe Cokanasiga is named on the left wing for his first Test for a year while Danny Care completes his stunning international comeback by starting at scrum-half with the uncapped Jack van Poortvliet – rather than Harry Randall – on the bench as cover.
For Australia, Quade Cooper plays his first Test since helping the Wallabies to a narrow win against Japan in October and edges James O’Connor and Noah Lolesio for the number 10 jersey. Lolesio provides cover for Cooper from the bench but O’Connor has been left out of the matchday 23 altogether.
Follow all the action with our live blog following the conclusion of New Zealand vs Ireland:
Team News – England
Eddie Jones reckons he had as many as fifteen potential tourists unavailable to him when he named his squad for Australia, so it speaks to the depth of English rugby that he is able to put together what looks a starting fifteen of strong construct that has been (for once) warmly received by supporters.
Back in from the cold are Billy Vunipola, influential all year at Saracens after his autumn dropping, and Danny Care, finally rewarded for his late-career resurgence with Jones keen on his ability to attack with quick ball. Care combines with club colleague Marcus Smith, who starts inside Owen Farrell for only the second time for England.
Farrell is back after injury but no longer captain; Courtney Lawes fulfilled the duties well during the Six Nations and retains the role. It is a huge series for Will Stuart with Kyle Sinckler among the absentees, while the bench has a youthful look, particularly among the backs: Jack van Poortvliet, Guy Porter and Henry Arundell all eye debuts.
England: Steward; Nowell, Marchant, Farrell, Cokanasiga; Smith, Care; Genge, George, Stuart; Itoje, Hill; Lawes, Curry, B Vunipola.
Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, M Vunipola, Heyes, Chessum, Ludlam; Van Poortvliet, Porter, Arundell.
Harry Latham-Coyle2 July 2022 10:27
Team News – Australia
Typically a team’s debutants would be among the less experienced members of an international side’s squad, but that is not the case with Australia’s tight five first-cappers. Veterans Dave Porecki (29) and Cadeyrn Neville (33) will relish a chance to mix it at international level, and speak to Dave Rennie wishing to stabilise the set-piece and counter England’s potential up-front biff with a pair of wilier heads. Tighthead Taniela Tupou is absent with a calf injury, but Rob Valetini and Rob Leota each get the chance to build upon strong Super Rugby campaigns in the back row alongside ever-consistent skipper Michael Hooper.
Rennie is permitted three selections from outside Australia, and all start in the backs. It will be hope that the outstanding Samu Kerevi has similarly totemic impact on the side as last year, and Marika Koroibete adds an extra stick of dynamite to a fun backline. Tasked with lighting the fuse will be Quade Cooper, still possessing of all his flicks, tricks and individual gifts but also a wiser soul, who you would suggest is well-suited to the role of chief puppeteer in an attack designed by former England attack coach Scott Wisemantel.
Australia: Banks; Kellaway, Ikitau, Kerevi, Koroibete; Cooper, White; Bell, Porecki, Alaalatoa; Swain, Neville; Leota, Hooper, Valetini.
Replacements: Fainga’a, Sio, Slipper, Philip, Samu; Gordon, Lolesio, Petaia.
Harry Latham-Coyle2 July 2022 10:25
England vs Australia
This is the only summer tour of the World Cup cycle for Eddie Jones and England, making it all the more important. Jones has never lost to his former employers with England – could familiar friends and foes be the perfect opponents to lift his side out of their Six Nations rut?
Harry Latham-Coyle2 July 2022 10:23
On to Australia against England…
We’ll have plenty more reaction to New Zealand’s opening win over Ireland across the next couple of days, but such is the relentless nature of this super Saturday of international rugby that we must quickly switch focus to events across the Tasman.
And it is to the far side of Australia we turn, with the Wallabies and England familiarising themselves with the gleaming Optus Stadium in the western outpost of Perth. Kick-off is little more than half an hour away, so let’s get in to it…
Harry Latham-Coyle2 July 2022 10:21
F/T: New Zealand 42-19 Ireland
New Zealand might be forced into some changes, though – I reckon the citing officer might want another look at this Scott Barrett challenge at a late ruck. Ireland tapped the penalty quickly before the TMO could request further inspection of the footage.
Harry Latham-Coyle2 July 2022 10:17
F/T: New Zealand 42-19 Ireland
O’Mahony appeared slightly more upbeat than you might expect for a beaten Irish player, particulalry given the optimism with which Ireland entered the game. There were certainly good bits of their performance, including the manner in which they controlled the opening exchanges, but the All Blacks showed the clinical edge that so often lifts them in encounters like this. That was comfortably the sloppiest that Ireland have played for a good while – and with Johnny Sexton presumably out of next week’s second meeting in Dunedin after failing a head injury assessment, it will be a huge seven days for Joey Carbery.
Harry Latham-Coyle2 July 2022 10:15
Peter O’Mahony reflects on Ireland’s defeat
“I thought we started really well, got into our flow nicely, but a couple of loose plays and a couple of dropped balls and a side of the All Blacks quality will take advantage. I think the challenge is to be consistent with our ball skills.
“Set piece battle was tough. I think the All Blacks got the upper hand. Three tests over here, it is a huge honour to be here, and I thought it was a great first test match. Plenty to work on for our side but a huge amount to take from it.
“We’ve got to understand how important it is to hold on to the ball and keep phases. WE have got to be on our very, very best game and be as consistent as we want to be.”
Harry Latham-Coyle2 July 2022 10:11
F/T! New Zealand 42-19 Ireland
Sam Cane has a chat with the host broadcaster on New Zealand’s win.
“We are pretty pleased. It is a good start to the year for sure. Super crowd tonight, it is so awesome to be playing at home and we really felt them tonight.
“We were good for patches, but we’ve got a lot to work on. The boys defended really well right to the end, the 85th minute. Our discipline was good to start to the game.
“It wasn’t an ideal week by any means, but this group has been through a lot in the last 18 months, and it put us in good stead for this week in terms of rolling with the punches. It was nice to be able to come out here in front of a home crowd.”
Harry Latham-Coyle2 July 2022 10:08
FULL TIME! NEW ZEALAND 42-19 IRELAND
Harry Latham-Coyle2 July 2022 10:04
New Zealand 42-19 Ireland, 85 minutes
But Ireland’s maul goes down in a dishevelled heap and that, finally, will be that.
Harry Latham-Coyle2 July 2022 10:03