Hartley gets England call
November 9, 2010
Dylan Hartley (centre) has ousted Steve Thompson following a strong performance against New Zealand © Getty Images
Dylan Hartley has won the battle to start at hooker for England against Australia on Saturday.
The inclusion of the Northampton captain is the only change England have made to the team that started last weekend's 26-16 defeat to New Zealand. Steve Thompson drops to the bench where he is joined by veteran Wasps lock Simon Shaw, who has replaced Dave Attwood after recovering from a calf injury.
Hartley made a dynamic impact off the bench against the All Blacks last weekend, scoring his first Test try to spark England's second-half comeback.
The fiery 24-year-old was arguably fortunate not to have been cited for a challenge on Richie McCaw. But Hartley also added to an impressive scrummaging performance and England will again be targeting the Wallabies' fragile set-piece.
England dominated Australia's scrum during the drawn summer Test series and they look a more formidable unit now with Andrew Sheridan back in the side at loose-head prop. Attwood can consider himself unfortunate to miss out on selection after making a confident international debut against the All Blacks.
England manager Martin Johnson has decided against making any changes to his centre combination, with Mike Tindall and Shontayne Hape to continue their partnership. Wasps centre Riki Flutey is still recovering from a calf injury.
B Foden (Northampton); C Ashton (Northampton), M Tindall (Gloucester), S Hape (Bath), M Cueto (Sale); T Flood (Leicester), B Youngs (Leicester); A Sheridan (Sale), D Hartley (Northampton), D Cole (Leicester), C Lawes (Northampton), T Palmer (Stade Francais), T Croft (Leicester), L Moody (Bath, capt), N Easter (Harlequins).
Replacements: S Thompson (Leeds), D Wilson (Bath), S Shaw (Wasps), H Fourie (Leeds), D Care (Harlequins), C Hodgson (Sale), D Armitage (London Irish).
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports