New-look Poms up against it

Only two English players that faced the Wallabies in November last year, have been selected for Sunday’s Test in Sydney.

Pat Sanderson and Lewis Moody are the only survivors from the last Cook Cup clash, with coach Andy Robinson having beefed up the experience of his team with the selection of veteran frontrowers Julian White and Graham Rowntree and centre Mike Catt.

The world champions are missing several key men, including Charlie Hodgson, Josh Lewsey, Steve Thompson, Martin Corry, Phil Vickery, Mark Cueto, Ben Cohen, Matt Dawson, Danny Grewcock and Jonny Wilkinson.

Among England’s youngsters are wingers Mathew Tait and Tom Varndell, who starred for the English sevens side at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in March.

Meanwhile, Wallaby coach John Connolly will name his team on Thursday. He is expected to include rookies Greg Holmes, Tai McIsaac and Rodney Blake in the front row, with in-form Waratahs hooker Adam Freier unlucky to miss the 22 altogether when it is named.

POSSIBLE WALLABIES: Chris Latham; Mark Gerrard, Stirling Mortlock, Mat Rogers, Lote Tuqiri; Stephen Larkham, George Gregan (c); George Smith, Rocky Elsom, Daniel Heenan, Nathan Sharpe, Daniel Vickerman, Rodney Blake, Tai McIsaac, Greg Holmes.
Reserves: Jeremy Paul, Al Baxter, Mark Chisholm, Phil Waugh, Sam Cordingley/Josh Valentine, Clyde Rathbone, Cameron Shepherd.

ENGLAND: Iain Balshaw, Tom Varndell, Mathew Tait, Mike Catt, Tom Voyce, Olly Barkley, Peter Richards; Pat Sanderson (capt), Lewis Moody, Magnus Lunsdale, Alex Brown, Louis Deacon, Julian White, Lee Mears, Graham Rowntree.
Reserves: George Chute, Tim Payne, Chris Jones, Joe Worsley, Nick Walshe, Andy Goode, Jamie Noon.