Joel Tomkins Set to Make England Rugby Debut Against Australia

Saracens center Joel Tomkins was selected to make his England rugby debut against Australia at Twickenham this weekend.

London Irish wing Marland Yarde will make his second appearance, his first at Twickenham, while Billy Vunipola, who’s played twice for England, was chosen at No. 8. Lee Dickson was picked ahead of Ben Youngs at scrum-half for the Nov. 2 game.

“I’m delighted for Joel,” England coach Stuart Lancaster said on the Rugby Football Union website. “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.”

For Australia, Ben Mowen takes over as captain from James Horwill. The selectors said they made the decision so that lock Horwill “can focus entirely on bringing his ‘A’ game.”

Matt Toomua was chosen ahead of Christian Lealiifano at inside center while wing Nick Cummins and flanker Scott Fardy return from injuries.

England: Mike Brown, Chris Ashton, Joel Tomkins, Billy
Twelvetrees, Marland Yarde, Owen Farrell, Lee Dickson, Mako
Vunipola, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes,
Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw (capt.), Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Dylan Hartley, Joe Marler, David Wilson,
Dave Attwood, Ben Morgan, Ben Youngs, Toby Flood, Ben Foden.

Australia: Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita
Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Nick Cummins, Quade Cooper, Will Genia,
Ben Mowen (capt.), Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy, James Horwill,
Sitaleki Timani, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, James Slipper.

Replacements: Saia Fainga’a, Benn Robinson, Sekope Kepu,
Kane Douglas, Ben McCalman, Nic White, Christian Lealiifano,
Bernard Foley.
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