Rugby-England recall Care, Vunipola for Wallabies clash


  • Rugby
  • Thursday, 30 Jun 2022

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - England v Barbarians - Twickenham, London, Britain - June 19, 2022 England's Danny Care reacts Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

SYDNEY (Reuters) - England coach Eddie Jones has recalled scrumhalf Danny Care and number eight Billy Vunipola after lengthy absences in an experienced side captained by Courtney Lawes to take on the Wallabies in Perth on Saturday in the first of three July tests.

While the core of the starting side that will be looking for a ninth straight win over Australia is made up of grizzled veterans, three players could make their test debuts off the bench at Perth Stadium.

Former England under-20s skipper Jack van Poortvliet will back up Care at halfback, while centre Guy Porter and exciting 19-year-old fullback Henry Arundell - an apprentice player - could also launch their international careers.

Care was banished to international exile after a disagreement with Jones in 2018 but gets another chance at the age of 35 in the absence of Ben Youngs, while Vunipola will play his first test since the 2021 Six Nations.

His brother, Mako Vunipola, also brings 67 caps worth of experience to the bench in a side that looks set up to muscle the Australians off the park.

Owen Farrell's kicking, both for position and points, will be key to maintaining the pressure on the Wallabies if that is the gameplan and he was named at centre outside the more mercurial talents of flyhalf Marcus Smith.

Jack Nowell is another veteran of England's 3-0 series sweep Down Under in 2016 and he starts on the right wing after recovering from a broken arm sustained during the Six Nations.

"We have had very strong preparation for this game," said Jones.

"We feel we have a well-balanced team which is ready for this improving Australia team. We'll take it to them from the start."

The England team also said on Thursday that Charlie Ewels had been ruled out of the tour by a knee injury and would be replaced in the squad by Sam Jeffries, who will arrive in Australia before Saturday.

Team:

15-Freddie Steward, 14-Jack Nowell, 13-Joe Marchant, 12-Owen Farrell, 11-Joe Cokanasiga, 10-Marcus Smith, 9-Danny Care, 8-Billy Vunipola, 7-Tom Curry, 6-Courtney Lawes (captain), 5-Jonny Hill, 4-Maro Itoje, 3-Will Stuart, 2-Jamie George, 1-Ellis Genge

Replacements: 16-Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17-Mako Vunipola, 18-Joe Heyes, 19-Ollie Chessum, 20-Lewis Ludlam, 21-Jack van Poortvliet, 22-Guy Porter, 23-Henry Arundell

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Robert Birsel)

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