Rugby Union


Sir Clive Woodward urges England to make two big team changes vs Australia

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Football News

Sir Clive Woodward has told Sky Sports that captain Dylan Harley, and George Ford, should both be dropped for the game against Australia next week.

The legendary coach - who guided England to the 2003 World Cup - stressed that the Autumn International at Twickenham was the perfect opportunity to experiment.

Jamie George, who came off the bench against Australia, is his choice to replace Hartley.

"I want to see what he can do. I think he should have started the game against Argentina," Woodward said after England defeated Argentina 21-8 on Saturday.

"I think George and Harry Williams are really knocking on the door against Hartley and Dan Cole, which means a change of captain, but I think we have got to have that change. Samoa will be too late so we've got to find out."

England have been in strong form of late, with only one defeat since the start of 2016.

However, Woodward sees more changes in the offing. The most important of those changes relates to Owen Farrell, who Woodward sees as mirroring the role Jonny Wilkinson played in his World Cup-winning side, in place of Ford.

"I think deep down Farrell wants to play 10. Jonny Wilkinson played 10, he doesn't want to play 12. If you're the top centre-forward in world football you want 9 on your back, there's a real charisma about it.

England Media Access

"He wants to strut out with 10 on his back. I'd like to see him play 10 because he's never had a proper start for England in that position."

With the possibility of Farrell really making that position his own, it would be strange if current England head coach Eddie Jones doesn’t consider him for the role.

The only other change Woodward proposed, came in the form of Anthony Watson for Mike Brown at full-back, with the latter being forced off injured in the victory over Argentina in the first half and unlikely to recover in time.

England Rugby
Owen Farrell
Dylan Hartley
Australia Rugby
Rugby Union

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