Friday’s rugby news has three changes for the Wallabies, James Haskell ruled out for the third test, Kyle Godwin to the Brumbies and Eddie Jones defends England’s tactics.
Cheika Changes Three
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has made three changes to the starting side for the final test against England on Saturday.
Will Skelton and Rob Simmons will come into the second row whilst Matt Toomua will replace Samu Kerevi at inside centre.
”Willy, even though he’s been playing, he’s been playing with injury, a shoulder injury, he hasn’t been able to show us his best yet this season,” Cheika said.
“We put him through some hard work here these two or three weeks we’ve been together. To get him to the fitness [needed] for a guy like Willy. He’s a big guy, if he’s not at that fitness he can’t play international footy.”
Cheika also explained his decision to bring Toomua into the side.
“He’s an experienced player, he plays in that role as second playmaker for us, so it was a logical choice,” Cheika said.
“He came back and we probably could have spun him out last week, but I think he needed more running in his legs. There’s a long way to go yet in this season so I didn’t want to burn him early.”
In-form backrower James Haskell in the only change to the England team that defeated the Wallabies in Melbourne last week.
Kiwi-born flanker Teimana Harrison will replace Haskell at openside flanker.
“Teimana comes into the side at seven for James Haskell whose foot hasn’t quite recovered from Saturday,” Eddie Jones said.
“Teimana has trained well throughout the tour and deserves his spot. He’s an excellent defender and his robustness will be important to us at the start of the game. Jack Clifford is unlucky to miss out, but will finish the game for us.”
“You have to work extremely hard to earn an England cap so there was no temptation to make changes for the sake of change,” he said.
“To play for England you have to be in the best 23 and that’s what this selection represents.”
Godwin to Brumbies
Western Force centre Kyle Godwin has been linked with a move to the Brumbies next season.
The Brumbies are currently looking for a replacement centre for the overseas-bound Matt Toomua.
Force flanker Chris Alcock could also follow Godwin to the Brumbies as a back up for David Pocock who will be play in 2017.
Wallaby hooker Nathan Charles is also reportedly looking to move overseas.
The Force will already be without Alby Mathewson, Solomoni Rasolea, Guy Millar, Steve Mafi, Oliver Hoskins, Tom Sexton, Brad Lacey, Rory Walton, Albert Nikoro and Chris Heiberg who are all leaving at the end of the season.
Jones Defends Tactics
England coach Eddie Jones has hit back at claims that his side are too conservative and says that they play “winning rugby”.
“We play winning rugby, we want to win games of rugby, that’s what keeps the fans excited.
“Whatever way we need to win, we’ll win. If we need to kick the ball we’ll kick it, if we need to run we’ll run, if we need to pass we’ll pass.
“I must admit I’m not concerned how Australia are going to play, or how Australia think we’re going to play.
“We’re just worried about preparing ourselves, our biggest challenge is for us to be ready for the game.
“What Australia does – we’ll cope with whatever they want to do.