Tomkins to debut against Wallabies

Thu, 31 Oct 2013 11:34
Joel-tomkins-england Mako-vunipola-england-train Joel-tomkins-saracens
We are looking forward to the challenge

Joel Tomkins will make his England debut in Saturday's international against Australia at Twickenham Stadium.

The centre will be joined by Saracens teammate Billy Vunipola and London Irish wing Marland Yarde, who both won their first caps in Argentina in June and make their first starts at Twickenham.

Lee Dickson, who started both Tests against the Pumas, wins his 10th cap and partners Owen Farrell at halfback, while fellow British & Irish Lions Dan Cole, Ben Youngs and brother Tom also return to the match 23.

England coach Stuart Lancaster said: "I'm delighted for Joel. He has had a great week's training and is ready for his chance. He has played in many high-profile games in his career so far and has a great temperament for the big occasion.

"Billy Vunipola and Marland Yarde made a big impression in Argentina and it's going to be a special occasion for them to run out at Twickenham in front of 82,000 passionate supporters for the first time.   

"We are looking forward to the challenge of playing Australia – they have made great strides under Ewen McKenzie and their new coaching team and they are formidable opponents.

"It's eight months since we played at our home (RBS 6 Nations v Italy) and we are looking forward to getting back there for the Internationals and what is a very important series for us two years out from the World Cup."

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3  Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Joe Marler, 18 David Wilson, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Ben Morgan, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Ben Foden.

Date: Saturday, November 2
Venue: Twickenham, London
Kick-off: 14.30 (14.30 GMT; 01.30, Sunday November 3 AEDT)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland)