Jonathan Joseph and Ben Morgan have been recalled to Englands starting XV for the pivotal 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool A clash against Australia at Twickenham on 3 October. Having both started against Fiji in the opening game, the pair were ruled out of the 28-25 defeat to Wales with chest and knee injuries respectively.
Morgans return to fitness comes at an ideal time for head coach Stuart Lancaster, with the impressive number eight Billy Vunipola ruled out for the rest of the tournament with a knee ligament strain. As the hosts most creative attacking outlet – whose absence for the match against Wales contributed heavily to England dropping first-choice fly-half George Ford and retreating to a cautious and hugely physical midfield trio of Owen Farrell, Sam Burgess and Brad Barritt – Josephs place in the side for such a defining fixture was never in question if he could prove he was sufficiently recovered.
As it is, the 24-year-old will resume his berth at outside centre with Barritt, the defensive lynchpin who was badly exposed alongside Burgess on Saturday, shifting back to his preferred position at 12 and the rugby league convert dropping to the bench in place of Alex Goode. Ben Youngs retains his place at scrum-half despite concerns over an ankle problem, while Joe Launchbury replaces Courtney Lawes at lock with the latter having hurt his knee and been substituted at half-time last match. Tom Wood starts after World Rugby decided against citing the player for a kick to the face of Liam Williams.
Among the replacements, experienced Harlequins back-rower Nick Easter is bidding to play in his third World Cup after being drafted into the squad as a replacement for Vunipola. Versatile Saracens forward George Kruis is also included as cover.
JJ and Ben Youngs are both fit and raring to go, as are the rest of the squad for what will be a huge game against a very good team, Lancaster said after his selection was revealed. England-Australia matches at Twickenham are always massive occasions, this one more than ever, and we want everyone behind us so we can get the result we all want.
Pool leaders Australia have also announced their team, with Michael Cheika reverting back to the side who started their opening game against Fiji after making 14 changes for the thumping win over minnows Uruguay. The Wallabies once again opt for two natural openside flankers in Michael Hooper and David Pocock, while Stephen Moore captains the side from hooker and a dangerous backline features the likes of Matt Giteau, Adam-Ashley Cooper and Israel Folau.
Weve been working hard each day this week to improve our game before we play England on Saturday, Cheika said. I believe that this selection, the same starting team that ran out verus Fiji, has been really clear on where we must improve and the level we must be at to compete with England and we know that its 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.
England starting XV v Australia: Brown (Harlequins), Watson (Bath), Joseph (Bath), Barritt (Saracens), May (Gloucester), Farrell (Saracens), B Youngs (Leicester), Marler (Harlequins), T Youngs (Leicester), Cole (Leicester), Parling (Exeter Chiefs), Launchbury (Wasps), Wood (Northampton), Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), Morgan (Gloucester).
Replacements: Webber (Bath), M Vunipola (Saracens), Brookes (Northampton), Kruis (Saracens), Easter (Harlequins), Wigglesworth (Saracens), Ford (Bath), Burgess (Bath)