Eddie Jones plumped for Jamie George at hooker against Australia ahead of Dylan Hartley because he believes Saracens forward will help blunt the Wallabies’ early attacks.
England are looking for a sixth successive win over Australia this weekend, with Jones making nine changes to his starting XV from the win over Japan last time out.
George retains his place in the front row, meaning Hartley will have to wait to make a record 56th international appearance at Twickenham.
Jones expects Australia to start the clash quickly and deploying George from the start could help keep them at bay.
“We think Australia will come out like they normally come out, like a bull in a China gate,” Jones told a media conference.
“Jamie is a very good defender, very good when the play is open and I think he suits us in that first period of the game.
“In the last part of the game we feel it’ll be more of an arm wrestle, more of a ‘slogathon’ and that’s where Dylan’s suited. We think that is the best order.
“We know we have to be at our best because Australia will put in their best performance of the year. This is the game they have been waiting for, it’s their last game, so we are prepared for that.”
Hartley is joined on the bench by Manu Tuilagi after he recovered from a groin problem, and Jones is confident the explosive back is ready to return.
“He trained in the session yesterday [Wednesday],” added Jones. “[He] came through it really well and therefore he is ready to go.
“It’s a good opportunity for him and the team, and Manu absolutely can’t wait to get out there.”
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