England v Australia: Joel Tomkins makes his international debut and Lee Dickson gets the nod at scrum-half
Rugby League convert Tomkins will start at outside centre in the Autumn international
Thursday 31 October 2013
Lee Dickson will start at scrumhalf for England against Australia on Saturday in a fresh-looking side that also includes uncapped centre Joel Tomkins, winger Marlon Yarde and giant number eight Billy Vunipola.
Dickson, who started both of England's test wins over Argentina in June, retains the number nine jersey after a scintillating start to the season for Northampton, forcing British and Irish Lions scrumhalf Ben Youngs on to the bench.
Rugby league convert Tomkins starts at outside centre alongside Billy Twelvetrees in an exciting midfield combination, somewhat forced upon coach Stuart Lancaster after injury ruled out regular duo Manu Tuilagi and Brad Barritt.
Yarde, who scored two tries against the Pumas in his only previous appearance, has a great chance to nail down the left wing position, while Chris Ashton, revitalised after a summer break, returns to the right.
Billy Vunipola, who turns 21 on Sunday, makes his first start after two replacement appearances on the Argentina tour, and will stand proudly alongside brother Maku, starting at loosehead prop in place of the injured Alex Corbisiero.
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