Hooper doubly determined for Australia to beat England
Australia captain Michael Hooper, 11/2 to score anytime, has emphasised his desire to beat England at Twickenham in the final fixture of the Autumn Internationals, though are 13/8 outsiders with Coral to do so.
It isn’t as if the Wallabies need any more added motivation to beat their Commonwealth ally, though the tragic news that emerged out of Australia in the run-up to game has spurred them on significantly. Waking up to the sad news their country’s cricketer Philip Hughes had sadly died, it was a sombre mood in training the following day, though Hooper has said the team has united with one in grief.
In Cairns recently, the nations two teams came together to enjoy a dinner with one another, an evening that forever forged bonds, and Hooper is determined to win for their grieving friends.
“It’s the kind of news you never want to wake up to,” said 23-year-old Hooper. “We love our cricket. All of us were checking our phones on Thursday morning. For us as a team it’s a pretty sombre mood.”
England, have only one victory from the series so far, and have dropped Owen Farrell to the bench in favour of 26-year-old centre Billy Twelvetrees, who is 5/1 to score anytime.
It is a call-up that coach Stuart Lancaster is pleased with: “It’s good to be able to give Billy his first start of the series.
“He took on board the feedback we gave him when he first came into camp and he has worked hard both with us and at Gloucester and deserves his chance,” Lancaster continued.
“Owen is a key part of our squad and I am sure he will make a positive contribution should he get the chance.”
Having beaten Samoa, England now have Australia in their sights, and are odds-on at 8/13 to secure a successive victory. Jonny May, who scored twice, is 9/1 to add the first five points of the game. However, any win will not come easy, if Hooper has anything to do with it.
England: Mike Brown (Harlequins); Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby) Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby); George Ford (Bath Rugby), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers); Joe Marler (Harlequins), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby).
Replacements: Rob Webber (Bath Rugby), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons), George Kruis (Saracens), James Haskell (Wasps), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Marland Yarde (Harlequins).