England bench features captain Hartley, Wallabies dump Beale
LONDON (AP) — England co-captain Dylan Hartley is in the reserves and Australia dumped Kurtley Beale for their rugby international at Twickenham on Saturday.
Whenever England has played top opposition, Hartley has been the first-choice hooker under coach Eddie Jones. But Jones kept British Lion Jamie George at No. 2 on Thursday after the mediocre win over Japan last weekend.
Hartley started against South Africa and New Zealand and was in the reserves against Japan.
“We just think that’s the best order,” Jones said of starting George. “We think Australia will come out like they normally do, like a bull in a china shop.
“Jamie is a very good defender and is very good when the play is open. He suits us in that first period of the game. The last part of the game is going to be bit of an arm wrestle and that’s where Dylan is at his best.”
Beale wasn’t even in the Wallabies reserves. He was left out last weekend in Padua so coach Michael Cheika could experiment with Matt To’omua at flyhalf and usual flyhalf Bernard Foley at inside center. Australia struggled past Italy 26-7.
England recalled center Manu Tuilagi and No. 8 Nathan Hughes to the reserves.
Tuilagi was to make his first appearance in two years off the bench against South Africa in the November opener until a groin strain. Hughes was back after completing a six-week suspension for punching an opponent, and mocking the judiciary.
Joe Cokanasiga, who made a try-scoring debut against Japan, was retained on the right wing after Jack Nowell, who was expected to play, was ruled out injured. Chris Ashton was earlier ruled unavailable by a left calf strain.
Cokanasiga’s injury-enforced selection means England features three changes from the side which was chased down by the All Blacks 16-15.
George swaps with Hartley, and Courtney Lawes was in for the injured George Kruis to partner Maro Itoje in the second row.
Beside Tuilagi and Hughes coming into the reserves, Richard Wigglesworth was the backup scrumhalf after Danny Care, who started against Japan, was made a scapegoat for the poor win and dropped from the squad.
“We’ve picked our best 23 for the Australia game,” Jones said.
“We know they have a unique style of attack so our ability to defend that is going to be important. We are continually working on our strengths which is our set-piece and our defense and they are areas that are progressing nicely.”
Israel Folau was at fullback for Australia and Jack Maddocks on the wing for the first time since September.
Tolu Latu was back at hooker, and prop Sekope Kepu returned to tighthead, as Cheika picked a side that looked close to the one which lost to Wales 9-6 almost two weeks ago.
Scrumhalf Will Genia will earn his 100th cap.
England: Elliot Daly, Joe Cokanasiga, Henry Slade, Ben Te’o, Jonny May, Owen Farrell (co-captain), Ben Youngs; Mark Wilson, Sam Underhill, Brad Shields, Courtney Lawes, Maro Itoje, Kyle Sinckler, Jamie George, Ben Moon. Reserves: Dylan Hartley (co-captain), Alec Hepburn, Harry Williams, Charlie Ewels, Nathan Hughes, Richard Wigglesworth, George Ford, Manu Tuilagi.
Australia: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Samu Kerevi, Bernard Foley, Jack Maddocks, Matt To’omua, Will Genia; David Pocock, Michael Hooper (captain), Jack Dempsey, Adam Coleman, Izack Rodda, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Scott Sio. Reserves: Tatafu Polata-Nau, Jermaine Ainsley, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Smmons, Ned Hanigan, Pete Samu, Nick Phipps, Sefa Naivalu.