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Friday 9 December 2016

Australia unchanged for crunch clash with England

David Pocock celebrates with team mates after scoring the first try for Australia
Reuters / Rebecca Naden
David Pocock celebrates with team mates after scoring the first try for Australia Reuters / Rebecca Naden

Australia have paired the double threat of Michael Hooper and David Pocock in a bid to blitz England at the breakdown in Saturday's crucial World Cup battle.

Head coach Michael Cheika has picked the same team that saw off Fiji 28-13, making 14 changes from the 65-3 procession against Uruguay.

The Wallabies may have the chance to dump England out of the World Cup at the pool stage and consign Stuart Lancaster's men to the history books as the tournament's worst-ever performing hosts.

Cheika has duly shown no mercy, with contact-area specialists Hooper and Pocock preparing to outgun England over the ball, with the hosts still struggling to get their breakdown work in order.

"We've been working hard each day this week to improve our game before we play England on Saturday," said Cheika.

"I believe that this group has been really clear on where we must improve and the level we must be at to compete with England and we know that it's going to be a very tough challenge.

"The group is really committed to making all Australians truly proud of how we represent them at this Rugby World Cup and Saturday night will be another opportunity for us to do that."

Australia will name their replacements bench after training on Thursday.

AUSTRALIA TEAM TO FACE ENGLAND: I Folau, A Ashley-Cooper, T Kuridrani, M Giteau, R Horne, B Foley, W Genia, S Sio, S Moore (capt), S Kepu, K Douglas, R Simmons, S Fardy, M Hooper, D Pocock.

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