The English Rugby team heads to Gosford in search of their first win of their Australian tour as they prepare to take on the Australian Barbarians again. Both teams have made a number of changes from the sides that took the field in Perth last week.
For the Poms winger David Strettle and out centre Dominic Waldouck are the new faces in the backline whilst, the pack has been almost completely re-shaped. Jon Golding and Paul Doran-Jones are two more props we get to observe destroy our inexperienced front row, whilst Dan Ward-Smith joins the stomper Dave Attwood at lock. A completely new back row will be on show as Stefan Armitage (brother of fullback Delon) joins forces with James Haskell and Joe Worsley.
Haskell will be the only double up from Saturday night’s test where he started on the bench. Matthew Tait, who was also on the test bench but remained unused, will back up his bench sitting duties for this match as well.
For the Aussies we’ve stuck with the exact same prop as last game in Weeks and Cowan and one would think that Weeks in particular may be under consideration for a test call up. The big name in the front row, in more ways than one, is Tatafu Polota-Nau who returns from injury and will be using the game as some form of fitness test in anticipation of his return to the Wallaby 2 jersey Saturday night.
At lock Mitchell Chapman’s impressive game last week has seen him remain in the side, 17 stiches and all, alongside Reds lock Rob Simmons. This selection sees the Tahs fans crying out in support of Kane Douglas as he ones again rides the pine. Aussie 7s captain Pat McCutcheon will start the match at openside flanker, replacing Matt Hodgson whilst Stephen Hoiles will captain the team from Number 8.
Kurtley Beale has been named at flyhalf for the encounter due to Berrick Barne’s return to the test team with Peter Hynes in at fullback the only other change to the backline.
There aren’t too many surprises on the bench. Test rookie James Slipper will get another chance to impress when he gets a run whilst test players Burgess, Barnes and James O’Connor will probably see as little of the match as possible, injury permitting.
Once again, unless policy at Fox Sports has changed, this match will be live streamed at www.foxsports.com.au, and will not be televised.
Steve Walsh will referee.
|Joe Worsley [c]
|[c] Stephen Hoiles