Australia No 8 David Pocock declared fit to start against England despite only playing bit-part role in training
- Australia have confirmed that David Pocock is fit to start against England
- The breakdown specialist No 8 was England’s nemesis at the 2015 World Cup
- Eddie Jones had already claimed that Pocock’s fitness concerns were a bluff
- Scrum-half Wil Genia will win 100th cap, while Kurtley Beale has been left out
Wallaby No 8 David Pocock has been declared fit to start against England at Twickenham on Saturday.
The breakdown specialist has only played a bit-part role in training this week but Eddie Jones claimed his fitness concerns were a bluff.
Pocock was England’s nemesis at the 2015 World Cup and he will combine with fellow poacher Michael Hooper.
David Pocock has been declared fit to start for Australia against England on Saturday
Pocock, pictured in training on Thursday, hasn’t had a full week of training with his team-mates
The No 8, a breakdown specialist, was England’s nemesis at the 2015 Rugby World Cup
England team to play Australia on Saturday
Daly; Cokanasiga, Slade, Te’o, May; Farrell, Youngs; Moon, George, Sinckler; Itoje, Lawes; Shields, Wilson, Underhill.
Replacements: Hartley, Hepburn, Williams, Ewels, Hughes, Wigglesworth, Ford, Tuilagi.
Jones said: ‘We’re not even thinking about it. I hear this every time we play Australia – Pocock’s not going to be fit – so when I heard it I thought: “Here we go again.” You know those merry-go-rounds? It’s a bit like that.’
Scrum-half Will Genia will win his 100th cap in the autumn series finale, but former Wasps dynamo Kurtley Beale has been left out of the squad altogether.
Michael Cheika has made five changes to his side that beat Italy, with Matt Toomua and Bernard Foley combining as the dual playmakers ahead of Beale.
Sekope Kepu, Michael Hooper and Jack Maddocks of Australia pose alongside a giant shirt
Pocock will combine with fellow poacher Michael Hooper (pictured) in the Twickenham clash
Full-back Israel Folau returns, with Jack Maddocks, Samu Kerevi and Dane Haylett-Petty completing the backline.
Australia have lost their last five Tests to England and they will look to their dynamic pack to stem the Red Rose gameplan.
Jack Dempsey will join Hooper and Pocock in the back-row, with 102-cap prop Sekope Kepu brining experience to the tight five.
Scott Sio and Tolu Latu complete the front-row, while Adam Coleman and Jack Dempsey start at second-row.
AUSTRALIA TEAM VS ENGLAND
1. Scott Sio (54 Tests)
2. Tolu Latu (11 Tests)
3. Sekope Kepu (102 Tests)
4. Izack Rodda (16 Tests)
5. Adam Coleman (30 Tests)
6. Jack Dempsey (9 Tests)
7. Michael Hooper (c) (90 Tests)
8. David Pocock (77 Tests)
9. Will Genia (99 Tests)
10. Matt To’omua (41 Tests)
11. Jack Maddocks (6 Tests)
12. Bernard Foley (67 Tests)
13. Samu Kerevi (24 Tests)
14. Dane Haylett-Petty (30 Tests)
15. Israel Folau (72 Tests)
16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (88 Tests)
17. Jermaine Ainsley (2 Tests)
18. Allan Alaalatoa (30 Tests)
19. Rob Simmons (93 Tests)
20. Ned Hanigan (19 Tests)
21. Pete Samu (8 Tests)
22. Nick Phipps (70 Tests)
23. Sefa Naivalu (9 Tests)
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