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Friday, 16 November, 2018

Creative Wallabies can take fight to sluggish England

Farrell return key to England's threat at Twickenham

Kurtley Beale is a key player for Australia
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Autumn International
Sky Sports Main Event & Action, 3pm Saturday

Frustration was the overriding reaction after England's laboured win over Argentina last week, but with opening-week rust out of the system and Owen Farrell back in the line-up the Twickenham faithful will be expecting more fluency and zip against familiar rivals Australia.

Past successes over the Wallabies have been built on set-piece power but all eyes may be on the England backline this time to see if the axis of George Ford at fly-half with Farrell and Henry Slade in the midfield can produce a creative spark.

England have won four out of four against Australia since Eddie Jones took over as head coach but past form won't worry his opposite number Michael Cheika, and there is good reason to think the Aussies can keep it close.

The Wallabies have shown how quickly they put adversity behind them. Having started the summer with defeat to Scotland and a landslide reverse at home to New Zealand, they left for Europe with a revenge win against the All Blacks under their belt and last week's confident success against Wales made it seven in a row without defeat.

Farrell's direction will surely lift England but they weren't precise or clinical enough against the Pumas, and those are two characteristics that Australia show time and again, and they did so against Wales.

The Australian pack lived with Argentina and South Africa throughout the Rugby Championship and their blend of creative players such as scrum-half Will Genia and full-back Kurtley Beale, combined with a powerhouse midfield, means they have plenty of variety to their attacking game to unlock England's trademark defence.

It's hard to see the hosts pulling away for a convincing victory so a narrow win looks the most they can hope for, while the Wallabies are not without hope of stealing the glory.

Recommendation
Australia +9
2pts 10-11 Sky Bet


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England have won four out of four against Australia since Eddie Jones took over as coach but past form won't worry his opposite number Michael Cheika
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