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Rugby World Cup 2019, QF1: Old foes England and Australia face off in Oita

England coach Eddie Jones.
England coach Eddie Jones.
ANALYST
Modified 17 Oct 2019, 11:01 IST
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The Rugby World Cup 2019 quarter-finals kick off with a blockbuster clash between England and Australia on Saturday .The winner of this match will go on to face either New Zealand or Ireland in the semi-finals at Yokohama Stadium.

Eddie Jones’s men have been impressive so far with dominating performances in all three pool matches. They are tipped as being among the favorites to go all the way and lift the trophy.

To date the two nations have met 50 times with Australia winning 25, England 24 with one draw. However, England have won all of their last six meetings. In the pool stages England eased to a 1st place finish despite the penultimate match with France being cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.

The Red Rose had a somewhat stagnant start in their first game against Tonga. They then went on to destroy the USA and dominated Argentina in the other pool C matches.

Australia won three of their four pool matches. They narrowly lost 29-25 to Wales which ultimately landed them in second place of Pool D. There is little separating the two sides, but most analysts fancy England to grind out the win against the Wallabies in a close-scoring encounter.

Key Talking Points: England

  • Due to the cancellation of their final pool game, England have had to weeks to recuperate since their last match, while Australia have had eight days.
  • Since Eddie Jones took charge, England have never lost a match to the Wallabies. So far he has won six from six against his home nation.
  • England should have no injury concerns heading into the match. Henry Slade, Jack Nowell and Billy and Mako Vunipola were previously doubtful but should be available for Saturday.

Key Talking Points: Australia

  • Michael Chieka is set to make the surprise inclusion of teenage midfielder Jordan Petaia in the starting XV. The 19 year old put in a solid performance in his World Cup debut against Uruguay.
  • Reece Hodge is now available after serving a three-match ban after seeing red for a high tackle in Australia’s opening game. Whether he makes the starting XV or not is yet to be seen.
  • A common criticism of Chieka’s selection so far is that he is yet to find a settled squad. Throughout the pools he has chopped and changed his starting XV between each match. 

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Published 17 Oct 2019, 11:01 IST
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