OITA - England coach Eddie Jones sprung a big surprise on Thursday by naming Owen Farrell to start at flyhalf in the World Cup quarter-final against Australia, benching George Ford and bringing in Henry Slade to join Manu Tuilagi in midfield.
Billy Vunipola has recovered from a twisted ankle and will start on Saturday, as will his brother Mako in the front row.
Courtney Lawes replaces George Kruis in the second row alongside Maro Itoje while Jamie Joseph replaces the injured Jack Nowell on the bench.
Jones has long bounced Farrell between flyhalf and centre but appeared to have settled on playing him at 12 at the World Cup in Japan, where Ford has been one of England's most impressive players operating at flyhalf.
However, by dropping Ford to the bench and giving Slade his first start of the tournament Jones appears to be seeking to combat Australia's midfield power, particularly the threat of the dynamic Samu Kerevi. "Australia are a clever team, they will have some specific attacking strategies to play against us so we need to have a great situational awareness," Jones said.