Saturday, November 7, 2009

International Rugby: Australia Faces England

Australia v England at Twickenham (Cook Cup)

Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)

Australia and England square off in an international rugby match that promises to be a close encounter.

England has lurched from injury woe to injury worry in the last month. Enough front line elite players are out with injury they could make a starting lineup themselves. Martin Johnson has managed to put together a team that has a number of old hands back on deck and a few new ones as well. The most interesting recall is the great Jonny Wilkinson. Now a veteran aged 29 years and some 70 tests, he now plays in France and whose form looks as good as ever. Has he got what it still takes to step up a notch to international level.

Jonny Wilkinson is back. Image thanks to

Australia is struggling to find any sort of consistent form. They have defeated the mighty Springbox once this year and came within a point of the All Blacks around about the same time. But other than those two matches they have looked a step below their Tri Nation brothers. They have a new captain in Rocky Elsom and a coach who is beginning to attract unfavourable media comment. Aussies simply have no time for a team that is consistently losing. They simply must win this game to have any sort of international credibility and to keep the faithful interested back home.

Last Five Encounters
15.11.2008 Australia 28-14 at Twickenham (Cook Cup)
06.10.2007 England 12-10 in Marseilles (World Cup, Quarter Final)
17.06.2006 Australia 43-18 in Melbourne (Cook Cup)
11.06.2006 Australia 34-3 in Sydney (Cook Cup)
12.11.2005 England 26-16 at Twickenham (Cook Cup)

GWC Rugby Rankings: World Table-Australia 3rd, England 6th

Prediction: Australia by 3 points


15 Ugo Monye (Harlequins) Age 26, 6 tests
14 Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks) 29, 31
13 Daniel Hipkiss (Leicester Tigers) 27, 9
12 Shane Geraghty (Northampton Saints) 23, 3
11 Matthew Banahan (Bath Rugby) 23, 2
10 Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon, France) 29, 70
9 Daniel Care (Harlequins) 22, 11
8 Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers) 23, 2
7 Lewis Moody (Leicester Tigers) 31, 53
6 Thomas Croft (Leicester Tigers) 23, 12
5 Steven Borthwick, Capt. (Saracens) 29, 51
4 Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers) 29, 8
3 David Wilson (Bath Rugby) 24, 2
2 Steven Thompson (CA Brive, France) 31, 43
1 Timothy Payne (London Wasps) 30, 12
16 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints) 23, 11
17 Duncan Bell (Bath Rugby) 35, 2
18 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) 20, New Cap
19 James Haskell (Stade Francais, France) 24, 19
20 Paul Hodgson (London Irish) 27, 3
21 Andrew Goode (CA Brive, France) 29, 16
22 Ayoola Erinle (Biarritz Olympique, France) 29, New Cap

Head Coach: Martin Johnson


15 Adam Ashley-Cooper
14 Peter Hynes
13 Digby Ioane
12 Quade Cooper
11 Drew Mitchell
10 Matt Giteau
9 Will Genia
8 Wycliff Palu
7 George Smith
6 Rocky Elsom, (captain)
5 Mark Chisholm
4 James Horwill
3 Ben Alexander
2 Stephen Moore
1 Benn Robinson.
16 Tatafu Polota Nau
17 Matt Dunning
18 Dean Mumm
19 David Pocock
20 Luke Burgess
21 Ryan Cross
22 James O'Connor
Head Coach: Robbie Deans

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