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Farrell in for Autralia encounter

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Owen Farrell will start for England in Saturday’s first testa against Australia, manager Eddie Jones has confirmed.

The Saracens man will start the match in Brisbane at fly half, with Luther Burrell replacing him at inside centre, whilst George Ford drops to the bench after missing six of his seven kicks in the 27-13 win over Wales.

There is also a start for Marland Yarde on the wing ahead of Jack Nowell, who is named as a replacement.

Ex-captain Chris Robshaw is back after missing the final pre Test win over Wales.

Coach Eddie Jones has opted to start with the same pack which began the final Six Nations game against France.

England, who secured the Grand Slam with a 31-21 victory over France to win the Six Nation’s, have never won a Test series in Australia – winning just three of their 17 Tests down under.

Jones said: “We have picked a side to win in Brisbane. It’s important we get off to a positive start and we’ll arrive ready to play physical and aggressive rugby.”

There had been talks that Maro Itoje might move from lock to blind-side flanker in place of Robshaw, with Joe Launchbury coming into the second row, but Wasps lock Launchbury – man of the match against Wales – has to settle for a place on the bench alongside Northampton second row Courtney Lawes.

Alex Goode, the newly-crowned Aviva Premiership player of the season, has been left out of the 23, while full-back Mike Brown is poised to win his 50th cap.

Jones said the series was an opportunity for his youthful side to “create history”.

“If you look at England’s record in Australia it’s pretty ordinary – we’ve only ever won three games in Australia,” he added.

“The Wallabies are ranked second in the world and have the World Rugby coach of the year, so that’s why they start as favourites.

“We have a young squad with an average age of 24 so we are still developing and improving. It’ll be a great challenge for us and one we’re looking forward to meeting head on

George Ford Owen Farrell Test

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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