TWICKENHAM – Owen Farrell has been recalled by England for their clash with Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.
Farrell was rested for last weekend’s 21-8 win over Argentina at Twickenham in England’s opening November international.
But the playmaker is back at inside centre for the visit of the Wallabies as coach Eddie Jones seeks a fifth straight win over his native Australia since taking charge of England.
Elsewhere, Mike Brown’s failure to recovery from the concussion he suffered against the Pumas sees Anthony Watson move across to fullback from wing, with Watson’s spot out wide taken by Jonny May, now fit following a hamstring strain.
In the pack, Joe Launchbury was selected at lock alongside Courtney Lawes after George Kruis was dropped.
Powerhouse forward Maro Itoje, who like fellow British and Irish Lion Farrell was rested against Argentina, is on the bench.
“I have selected the strongest 23 to play Australia, and we will have to be effective in everything we do this weekend to win,” said Jones as he named his side on Thursday.
Farrell, reduced to the role of waterboy against the Pumas, is now set to resume his role as first-choice goal-kicker in place of scrumhalf George Ford, while acting as deputy to captain Dylan Hartley.
Kruis’ reputation as a lineout specialist was not enough to save him from being dropped, with Lawes now set to run that set-piece for England.
Australia come into the match fresh from a 29-21 win over Wales in Cardiff and Jones said: “This is going to be a great challenge, as we know Australia have been in great form towards the end of their season.
“The players have had an extremely positive week. They have trained well and worked hard and we are all excited about going out on Saturday and playing well against a very good Australian side,” added Jones, the Wallabies’ coach when they were beaten by England in the 2003 World Cup final in Sydney.
Australia coach Michael Cheika, who played in the same team as Jones at Sydney club side Randwick, was due to name his side later on Thursday.
15 Anthony Watson, 14 Jonny May, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Mako Vunipola
Bench: 16 Jamie George, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Maro Itoje, 20 Sam Simmonds, 21 Danny Care, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Semesa Rokoduguni.