England recall Ashton for Australia
LONDON (AFP) –
Saracens wing Chris Ashton has replaced Ugo Monye in the only change to England’s matchday 23 for Saturday’s Cook Cup international against Australia at Twickenham.
Ashton was suspended for England’s 54-12 win over Fiji at Twickenham with which they opened a European autumn international campaign that also includes Twickenham Tests against South Africa and world champions New Zealand.
Former rugby league flyer Ashton has scored three tries in three Tests against the Wallabies, with his stunning effort at Twickenham two years ago, when he ran nearly the length of the field, helping England win 35-18.
“It is tough on Ugo, who misses out this time but Chris has been excellent in training,” England coach Stuart Lancaster said in a Rugby Football Union statement, where he confirmed Gloucester wing Charlie Sharples, who scored his first two Test tries against Fiji, had retained his place.
Lancaster’s move in sticking with the bulk of the 23 that beat Fiji meant the fit-again London Irish duo of centre Jonathan Joseph and prop Alex Corbisiero were among 13 players released back to their clubs.
“We had to make some tough decisions within the 23 and we are in a good position to be able to select from a largely fit squad,” Lancaster said.
“Alex Corbisiero has played once in five months so it is important that he goes back and has more game time for London Irish.
“Jonathan Joseph has come through training but Brad (Barritt) and Manu (Tuilagi) did well in the centres (against Fiji).”
Lancaster is due to name his starting XV and eight-strong bench on Thursday when Australia counterpart Robbie Deans is also set to reveal his line-up.
Australia, overwhelmed 33-6 by France in Paris last Saturday, suffered a double setback Tuesday when already sidelined flanker David Pocock and second row Kane Douglas were both ruled out of the England match due to injury.
England squad to play Australia in a one-off international at Twickenham on Saturday (1430GMT kick-off):
Backs (10): Chris Ashton (Saracens), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Leicester), Alex Goode (Saracens), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester), Ben Youngs (Leicester)
Forwards (13): Dan Cole (Leicester), Tom Johnson (Exeter), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Tom Palmer (Wasps), David Paice (London Irish), Geoff Parling (Leicester), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt) Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester), David Wilson (Bath), Tom Wood (Northampton), Tom Youngs (Leicester)