Australia vs England: Three bold changes Eddie Jones should make for second Test

Henry Arundell would give England’s backline the searing pace its lacks

England boss Eddie Jones faces some tough decisions in selection for Saturday’s second Test (Nigel French/PA)
England boss Eddie Jones faces some tough decisions in selection for Saturday’s second Test (Nigel French/PA)

England are one defeat away from surrendering their series to Australia after a dismal 30-28 loss in the first Test at Perth’s Optus Stadium where they crumbled in the final quarter.

Here we look at three bold selections head coach Eddie Jones could make in an attempt to ignite a comeback.

Henry Arundell for Joe Cokanasiga – wing

The question of whether Henry Arundell’s try-scoring gifts would translate to the Test arena were answered with his first touch of the ball in an explosive seven-minute cameo off the bench. The 19-year-old debutant displayed strength, footwork and pace to cross in the left corner and announced his arrival to the world. Joe Cokanasiga was a peripheral figure in the first Test and picking Arundell would give England’s backline the searing pace its lacks, as well as a lethal asset to unleash in a broken field situation.

Fraser Dingwall for Joe Marchant – outside centre

Uncapped Fraser Dingwall has been a force for Northampton this season (Joe Giddens/PA)

For the time being, Jones is wedded to fielding a playmaking axis of Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell to leave the 13 jersey as the only midfield position open to change. Marchant was not alone in having a quiet first Test, but his 13 caps follow a pattern of occasional flashes of brilliance mixed amongst games that pass him by. Dingwall has been a force for Northampton at inside and outside centre this season, carrying more and with greater reward than any other centre available to England. The 23-year-old’s game is rounded out by solid defence and clever passing, making him worth a look.

Jack Willis for Tom Curry – openside flanker

Curry will miss the rest of the tour having returned home following a concussion sustained in the first Test. With the Lions back-row sidelined, Willis could be the answer to the breakdown problems exposed in the opener. Back in action after missing a year because of a serious knee injury, the 25-year-old Wasp is England’s best tackler and would provide opposition over the ball to the outstanding Michael Hooper, the Wallabies captain who produced a turnover that created a crucial momentum swing in the first Test. Willis’ skills extend beyond the breakdown, however, as he offers a muscular carrying threat and is a line-out option.

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