Wallabies look to stretch England out wide in final test
SYDNEY (AP) — Australia's attempts to barge through the middle of England's defensive line didn't work during the opening two matches, so the Wallabies will try to stretch the visitors out wide in a bid to win on Saturday and avoid a three-test whitewash.
Matt Toomua's inclusion at inside center in place of the hard-running Samu Kerevi has also given Australia coach Michael Cheika another playmaker alongside flyhalf Bernard Foley.
Australia couldn't convert a massive advantage of possession into multiple tries in last week's 23-7 loss in Melbourne. That win, following a 39-28 England victory in Brisbane, gave the visitors their first series win Down Under.
Toomua said he hoped to add balance to the backline and bring the Wallabies' outside backs into the game.
"We had so much ball and they stopped us from scoring, so for us it's about changing that attack up a bit and playing with a bit more width and stretching them a lot more," Toomua said. "We need to be able to threaten them all over the park and not just up the middle."
Will Skelton and Rob Simmons were also recalled to bulk up the pack, Australia's third second-row pairing in as many tests.
England made only one change to its starting lineup, selecting Teimana Harrison at openside flanker because James Haskell had an injured foot. Harrison earns his second cap.
"You have to work extremely hard to earn an England cap, so there was no temptation to make changes for the sake of change," England coach Eddie Jones said. "Teimana has trained well throughout the tour and deserves his spot. He's an excellent defender and his robustness will be important to us at the start of the game."
Jones promised the other flanker option, reserve Jack Clifford would finish the match on Saturday at Sydney Football Stadium.
"He (Harrison) is a bit of a street fighter, he doesn't mind throwing it around a bit and we're going to need that on Saturday night," Jones said. "The team is motivated, fit and ready to go."
On Friday, the Wallabies reduced their nine-man reserves roster by one, cutting 46-test veteran lock/flanker Dean Mumm. Uncapped lock Adam Coleman could make his test debut with a run-on appearance.
Cheika says his team's goal for Saturday is to "go out and put in a good performance, restore a bit of pride in our jersey and ourselves."
Australia: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Rob Horne , Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps; Sean McMahon, Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore (captain), James Slipper. Reserves: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Scott Sio, Greg Holmes, Adam Coleman, Wycliff Palu, Nick Frisby, Christian Lealiifano, Taqele Naiyaravoro.
England: Mike Brown, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Owen Farrell, Jack Nowell, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Billy Vunipola, Teimana Harrison, Chris Robshaw, George Kruis, Maro Itoje, Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley (captain), Mako Vunipola. Reserves: Jamie George, Matt Mullan, Paul Hill, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Jack Clifford, Danny Care, Elliot Daly.