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All the action between the England and Australia in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final.
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Mako Vunipola England v Australia
George Ford has been sensationally dropped for England’s World Cup quarter-final against Australia in Oita, with captain Owen Farrell reverting to first five-eighths in one of three surprise personnel changes to the side that defeated Argentina.
England head coach Eddie Jones said the changes were to ensure his side could “defend with brutality”, seemingly a direct response to the physical threat posed by Wallabies powerhouse centre Samu Kerevi.
Henry Slade, sidelined for much of the northern summer with a knee injury, comes in for his first start of the tournament to resume his partnership with Manu Tuilagi to bolster the physicality of the backline.
There are two changes to the pack as well, with Mako Vunipola, deemed fit enough after a long-term hamstring problem, returning to the starting XV ahead of Joe Marler while Courtney Lawes, the Northampton second row, replaces George Kruis.
If the selection is tough on Marler and Kruis, it will have come as a hammer blow to Ford, who has been one of England’s star performers during the tournament and has started all but one of their last seven test matches at first five-eighths.
Jones had moved away from selecting Ford and Farrell after the summer tour of South Africa last year, and now the Leicester captain must again be content with a place on the bench.
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