Ford returns to starting line-up in Melbourne

16 June 2016

Bath Rugby's George Ford returns to the England starting 15 for the second Test match against Australia in Melbourne on Saturday 18 June (kick-off 11am BST, live on Sky Sports 1). 

Ford starts at fly-half, with Owen Farrell (Saracens) moving to inside centre, and another returnee, Jack Nowell, is reinstated on the wing. Jonathan Joseph, who scored in Brisbane, continues at outside centre, whilst Club teammate Anthony Watson is outside him at 14. 

The pack is unchanged to the one that started the first Test against Australia in Brisbane last weekend. Elsewhere Saracens hooker Jamie George, Harlequins back-row forward Jack Clifford and Wasps centre Elliot Daly are all included as replacements.

Back row Chris Robshaw (Harlequins) will win his 50th England cap having made his debut against Argentina in 2009.   

“We’ve picked a 23 to get the job done in Melbourne,” said England head coach Eddie Jones. “Throughout the week the players have shown they’re desperate to wear the red rose which meant some close calls on selection.   

“It’s a 23 that suits the way we want to play at AAMI Park. George and Owen playing together gives us two great kicking options and Jack is a high work-rate player. Jamie, Jack and Elliot have shown huge desire this week and deserve their spots on the bench.

“As soon as we came off the field in Brisbane our thoughts turned to Melbourne and I’m pleased with how we’ve prepared as the week has progressed. The players have recognised the importance of going up another level and have trained with a real intensity and purpose.

“We weren’t satisfied with last weekend’s performance and we know there’s lots to improve on, particularly aspects of our defence and breakdown work, which we’re confident we’ve remedied.

“We know the job isn’t done. We came here to win a Test series and that’s what we intend to do. Australia will try and throw everything at us on Saturday and we’ll be ready for the challenge.” 

England match-day 23 to face Australia

15. Mike Brown (vice captain, Harlequins, 50 caps) 

14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 22 caps)

13. Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 23 caps)

12. Owen Farrell (vice captain, Saracens, 41 caps)

11. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 16 caps)

10. George Ford (Bath Rugby, 24 caps)

9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 59 caps)

1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 33 caps) 

2. Dylan Hartley (captain, Northampton Saints, 73 caps)

3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 63 caps)

4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 5 caps)

5. George Kruis (Saracens, 16 caps)

6. Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 49 caps)

7. James Haskell (Wasps, 69 caps)

8. Billy Vunipola (vice captain, Saracens, 27 caps)


16. Jamie George (Saracens, 6 caps)

17. Matt Mullan (Wasps 11 caps)

18. Paul Hill (Northampton Saints, 3 caps)

19. Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 33 caps)

20. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 47 caps)

21. Jack Clifford (Harlequins, 6 caps)

22. Danny Care (Harlequins, 60 caps)

23. Elliot Daly (Wasps, 3 caps) 

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