England v Australia: in-form Robshaw can prove the difference

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England head into their opening autumn international with Australia knowing their captain Chris Robshaw is once again in top form.

Robshaw has endured a difficult couple of months that included missing out on the Lions tour but has come back better than ever this season for the Quins.

And it’s that change in fortune that has seen England coach Stuart Lancaster stick with his skipper for the upcoming test with Australia.

Speaking to the Independent, Lancaster said: “It was a pretty easy call to make. I select on form and fitness – that’s why I always wait for the players to gather together, to sit down with them and talk things through.

“Chris is fit, he’s in form and he was the stand-out candidate. The job requires someone with presence, someone who commands respect. I spoke about this with both Tom Wood and Dylan Hartley and Chris has their respect.”

However, it’s not all good news for Lancaster in his pack, with several injuries hampering preparations for their clash with the Wallabies.

Hartley has sustained an ankle injury, prop David Wilson is suffering with a calf strain, while his front row colleague Alex Corbisiero is definitely out of the match

England have won just two of their last six meetings with Australia and will need their pack fully fit if they are to avenge last year’s 20-14 defeat against the southern hemisphere side.

 

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