England v Australia, Twickenham, November 7
Wilkinson reclaims England No.10 shirt
November 5, 2009
England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson smiles during a training session, England training session, Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, England, October 28, 2009
Fly-half Jonny Wilkinson will be back in England colours against Australia at Twickenham this weekend © Getty Images

England manager Martin Johnson has recalled two of his World Cup winning team-mates for their opening November Test against Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.

Jonny Wilkinson returns at fly-half as expected, while hooker Steve Thompson will start his first Test since the 2006 Six Nations.

The recall caps a remarkable turnaround for the Brive hooker, who retired from the game on medical advice following a neck injury only to make a dramatic return. Johnson has called on Tim Payne and David Wilson as his props, with Phil Vickery and Andrew Sheridan sidelined by injury.

Ugo Monye fills the void at fullback following an injury to Delon Armitage and Shane Geraghty slots in at inside-centre after a superb start to the season for Northampton. His domestic team-mate, wrecking-ball lock Courtney Lawes, is set for a surprise debut off the bench alongside Biarritz centre Ayoola Erinle.

Danny Care starts at scrum-half and will be hoping for some quick service from the all-Leicester back-row of Tom Croft, Lewis Moody and Jordan Crane. The Leicester link continues in the second-row, where Louis Deacon joins skipper Steve Borthwick.

In-form London Irish No.9 Paul Hodgson must make do with a place on the bench, as must Northampton skipper Dylan Hartley. Bath prop Duncan Bell will win his third cap, and first since 2005, if called upon.

Australia boss Robbie Deans has again elected to shuffle his starting line-up in the wak eof his side's defeat at the hands of New Zealand in Tokyo last weekend.

The former Crusaders coach has made three personnel changes and two positional switches with Quade Cooper and Drew Mitchell profiting after strong performances in the midweek team's victory over Gloucester on Tuesday.

Cooper starts at inside-centre in the continued absence of Berrick Barnes while Mitchell slots on to the wing in place of Digby Ioane, who is asked to switch to outside-centre. Ryan Cross and James O'Connor drop to the bench.

O'Connor's fullback jersey is taken by the versatile Adam Ashley-Cooper, who started last weekend's Test at No.12. Matt Giteau wears No.10 alongside the impressive Reds scrum-half Will Genia. In the pack, there is a predictable return for veteran openside George Smith after he was omitted in favour of David Pocock last time.

James Horwill and Mark Chisholm remain in the second-row, while Stephen Moore again starts at hooker after his late inclusion due to an injury to Tatafu Polota-Nau in Tokyo.

England: U Monye (Harlequins); M Cueto (Sale Sharks), D Hipkiss (Leicester), S Geraghty (Northampton), M Banahan (Bath); J Wilkinson (Toulon), D Care (Harlequins); T Payne (Wasps), S Thompson (Brive), D Wilson (Bath), L Deacon (Leicester), S Borthwick (Saracens, capt), T Croft (Leicester), L Moody (Leicester), J Crane (Leicester)

Replacements: D Hartley (Northampton), D Bell (Bath), C Lawes (Northampton), J Haskell (Stade Francais), P Hodgson (London Irish), A Goode (Brive), A Erinle (Biarritz)

Australia: A Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies); P Hynes (Queensland Reds), D Ioane (Queensland Reds), Q Cooper (Queensland Reds), D Mitchell (NSW Waratahs); M Giteau (Brumbies), W Genia (Queensland Reds); B Robinson (NSW Waratahs), S Moore (Brumbies), B Alexander (Brumbies), J Horwill (Queensland Reds), M Chisholm (Brumbies), R Elsom (Brumbies, captain), G Smith (Brumbies), W Palu (NSW Waratahs)

Replacements: T Polota Nau (NSW Waratahs), M Dunning (Western Force), D Mumm (NSW Waratahs), D Pocock (Western Force), L Burgess (NSW Waratahs), R Cross (Western Force), J O'Connor (Western Force)

Referee: Bryce Lawrence (NZ)

Assistant referees: George Clancy (Ire), Tim Hayes (Wal)
Television Match Official: Jim Yuille (Sco)

© Scrum.com

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - Abu Dhabi GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Darts - Premier League
    Golf - Houston Open
    Snooker - China Open
    Tennis - Miami Open