2 Dec 2016

Changes for Wallabies, England for tour-ending clash

8:01 am on 2 December 2016

The Australian rugby team has made four changes and England two ahead of their much-anticipated clash in Twickenham this weekend.

Sefanaia Naivalu and Kane Douglas have been rewarded for impressive form with starting roles in the Wallabies' European rugby tour finale against England.

The Wallabies loose forward David Pocock.

The Wallabies loose forward David Pocock. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Coach Michael Cheika has made four changes to the starting team for Sunday morning's Twickenham showpiece following their loss to Ireland on Sunday.

Naivalu replaces Henry Speight on the wing, while World Cup starter Douglas takes over from Rory Arnold in the second row.

Powerful number eight Lopeti Timani returns at the expense of Dean Mumm, with David Pocock moving from No.8 to the blindside flanker role.

And Nick Phipps takes over at halfback, with Cheika unable to secure Will Genia's release this week from his French club Stade Francais.

Cheika said the surprising decision to start with Douglas ahead of Arnold was down to his strong showing after coming on against Dublin in the second half of the 27-24 loss to Ireland last week.

"I thought he had a good second half when he came on," Cheika said

"He's been a guy trying to get back to his best form. He'd had a really good training week and I wanted to give him some extended time and get him involved. I think he did well and I wanted to reward that."

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika Photo: Photosport

For England, loose forward Nathan Hughes and winger Marland Yarde will start in two forced changes to the lineup that beat Argentina last weekend.

Fiji-born forward Hughes replaces Billy Vunipola, who has been sidelined by knee surgery, for his full test debut at number eight after winning two caps this autumn as a replacement.

"It's a big test for him, first time to start for England," head coach Eddie Jones told reporters.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for him. It's more about the fact that everyone in the team's got to pick up the slack.

England coach Eddie Jones.

England coach Eddie Jones. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"It's not one person that's got to fill Billy's boots," he added.

"We know he's an influential player but Nathan's a very good player in his own right. But it will be up to everyone on the field to pick up a little bit more."

Winger Yarde gets the nod over Semesa Rokoduguni for the spot vacated by Elliot Daly, who was banned for three weeks after being sent off for a dangerous tackle in Saturday's 27-14 win over Argentina.

England are seeking a fourth successive win over the Wallabies -- after a 3-0 whitewash in June -- to close out the year unbeaten and with a record-equalling 14th successive test victory.

England's Jamie George scores against the Wallabies in 2016 series win

England's Jamie George scores against the Wallabies in 2016 series win Photo: Photosport

England Team: 1-Mako Vunipola 2-Dylan Hartley (captain), 3-Dan Cole, 4-Courtney Lawes, 5-George Kruis, 6-Chris Robshaw, 7-Tom Wood, 8-Nathan Hughes, 9-Ben Youngs, 10-George Ford, 11-Jonny May, 12-Owen Farrell, 13-Jonathan Joseph, 14-Marland Yarde, 15-Mike Brown.

Reserves: 16-Jamie George, 17-Joe Marler, 18-Kyle Sinckler, 19-Charlie Ewels, 20-Teimana Harrison, 21-Danny Care, 22-Ben Te'o, 23-Henry Slade.

Australia Team: 1-Scott Sio, 2-Stephen Moore (c), 3-Sekope Kepu, 4-Kane Douglas, 5-Rob Simmons, 6-David Pocock 7-Michael Hooper, 8-Lopeti Timani, 9-Nick Phipps, 10-Bernard Foley, 11-Sefanaia Naivalu, 12-Reece Hodge, 13-Tevita Kuridrani, 14-Dane Haylett-Petty 15-Israel Folau

Reserves: 16-Tolu Latu, 17-James Slipper, 18-Tom Robertson, 19-Dean Mumm, 20-Sean McMahon, 21-Nick Frisby, 22-Quade Cooper, 23-Henry Speight

- AAP, Reuters