England v Australia: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
England will hope to kick-start their Autumn international series in style when they welcome Australia to Twickenham on Saturday.
Stuart Lancaster’s side will look to heap further woe on the Wallabies, who have endured a difficult run of late, losing five of their last seven contests.
|Nov. 2, 2:30 p.m. GMT||England||vs.||Australia||Twickenham||Sky Sports 2HD/3D|
With the World Cup just two years away, England will be hoping to lay down a marker before they co-host rugby’s biggest event in 2015.
The home of English rugby hasn’t represented the fortress it once was in recent times. The Aussies have won on four of their last six visits to Twickenham—per Rugby Data—and the home side will be hoping to reverse fortunes on their own patch ahead of the World Cup, where they have been drawn in the same Pool as Australia.
Who will win between England and Australia?
England showed a lot of promise during last season’s Six Nations. Closely contested victories against Ireland in Dublin and at home to France gave a glimpse of what they can do, but hopes of a Grand Slam unraveled in Cardiff.
England will have learnt from that crushing 30-3 defeat to Wales, and they will be looking to put the wrongs of that day right when they entertain Australia.
Australia have endured a difficult time of late. They have lost five of their seven contests since suffering defeat at the hands of the British and Irish Lions over the summer.
In their defence, however, Australia’s five defeats have all come against New Zealand (three) and South Africa (two), and the Wallabies have shown signs of improvement under new head coach Ewen McKenzie.
Lancaster acknowledged Australia’s “massive” improvement ahead of the big game—per Duncan Bech of the Press Association via the Daily Mail.
Lancaster said of this weekend’s opponents:
The Wallabies are improving massively in their quality of performances. I saw them play Argentina and New Zealand and they were right up there.
We know we face a massive threat against them. They’re a good side with quality players. We won’t be taking them for granted - we lost to them last year. This is a very competitive Australia side with 500-600 caps, but having said that we are at Twickenham. We will be quietly confident about what we are going to do.
England's biggest worry ahead of the game will be at centre. Manu Tuilagi and Brad Baritt, Lancaster’s favoured partnership, are both injured, and their impact both with and without the ball will be missed.
This should pave the way for Billy Twelvetrees to start, and Joel Tomkins—brother of rugby league star Sam Tomkins—looks set to make his debut for his country after converting from league to union—per BBC Sport.
Geoff Parling and Alex Corbisiero will also miss out, according to BBC Sport.
Parling's efficiency in the lineout will be a big loss. He has shown himself to be an experienced leader of late, and he will be noticeable by his absence on Saturday.
The visitors will be hopeful that Quade Cooper can bring his A-game to southwest London. The No. 10 has experienced a resurgence of late under the new management and is one of the world’s best when at the peak of his powers.
McKenzie has brought the best out of Cooper, according to Stephen Moore—per Jacquelin Magnay in the Australian—and that will worry England. The No. 10 has the ability to manage the game and dictate the pace when he is on form.
For Australia, a win against England would boost morale around the squad after a difficult few months.
But for the home side the challenge is to create an intimidating environment at Twickenham over the next few years. They will only achieve that through wins against the big rugby nations. And victory against Australia would be a great start.
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