Rugby World Cup Pool A: England to overcome rested Wallabies
England have won three of their last four Twickenham trials against Australia, so Coral make Stuart Lancaster’s side odds-on 4/5 favourites to respond to their Rugby World Cup Pool A defeat by neighbours Wales with victory over the Wallabies.
While the overall head-to-head record is 24-18 against the English, with another encounter drawn, that recent strong home record for this tournament’s host nation is a sign of encouragement.
Lancaster may be a little worried that the Aussies are far fresher than his team, with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika reverting to the XV that won their group opener against Fiji. Australia, who make 14 changes after crushing Uruguay last time out, are thus 6/5 to put the host nation out of the Rugby World Cup.
In a bid to combat the Wallabies, England hand recalls to Jonathan Joseph at centre for rugby league convert Sam Burgess and number eight Ben Morgan. Namesake Ben Youngs is also in at scrum half and lock Joe Launchbury included, with Billy Vunipola and Courtney Lawes injured.
Head coach Lancaster emphasised the importance of being able to field Joseph, who features in a fab 5/1 wincast involving England and him scoring a try, against the Aussies. “Jonathan Joseph is hard to replace. He has proved in the last 12 months to be a high-quality international player,” he said.
Australia’s main danger could come in the form of impressive number eight David Pocock, who crossed twice against Fiji and is 16/1 to repeat or better that brace, but safer at 3/1 anytime, and openside flanker Michael Hooper. England captain Chris Robshaw has identified the duo as key players to stop.
“We have got to pay a lot of respect to Hooper and Pocock, and across the board they threaten you,” said Robshaw. “But I back our guys to take them on up front. As a pack we have been building nicely over the last couple of weeks.”
The Wallabies are elite opposition, but proved to be a team England have really raised their game against in recent Twickenham tests. With the 6-10 points bracket their winning margin in the last two encounters, there’s a lot to like about an 11/2 price on that being the difference again.
Discipline in the pack and at scrums will be key, with an Australian penalty 11/8 to be the first scoring play and fly half Bernard Foley’s proficient kicking could easily punish England. The two sides feature in a 6/4 matchday special to gain a bonus point in defeat.
Coral’s top tip: It’s been a year where the English have enjoyed significant sporting victories over the Aussies, so take that awesome 11/2 price on a home win by 6-10 points.