England have named a strong squad, including nine of the victorious 2013 British and Irish Lions, to face the Qantas Wallabies in Australia’s opening Test of the Grand Slam-Spring Tour at Twickenham on Saturday November 2nd (11.30pm AEDT).
The nine Lions are: props Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Mako Vunipola (Saracens) and Alex Corbisiero (Northampton Saints); lock Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers); hooker Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers); flyhalf Owen Farrell (Saracens); centre Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby); wing Christian Wade (London Wasps) and scrumhalf Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).
But in a boost for the Wallabies the English squad has lost three of that Lions tour party to injury: centres Manu Tuilagi and Brad Barritt and flanker Tom Croft.
To make up for the absence of the barnstorming Tuilagi and centre partner Barritt England have called Joel Tomkins, Henry Trinder and Tom Johnson into their squad for the autumn Tests.
Luther Burrell, Northampton's impressive young inside-centre, has also been added as injury cover for the Twickenham internationals against the Qantas Wallabies, Argentina and All Blacks.
Gloucester centre Trinder's selection is the most eye-catching as he was not in either of English coach Stuart Lancaster's squads named in the summer. He has also not played for Gloucester since last month due to a hamstring injury.
Yet with first choice midfield duo Tuilagi and Barritt both out injured, the 24-year-old is given an opportunity to challenge Saracens’ Tomkins for the outside centre berth.
One big blow for England is that Lions prop Alex Corbisiero sustained knee damage playing for Northampton in Castres and is set to miss at least two of the three internationals.
England coach Stuart Lancaster said that he was hopeful there would be no further injuries to the squad this weekend, as he makes tough choices over who will make it onto his first XV for the Autumn internationals.
"It's clearly a big weekend ahead, fingers crossed there will be no more changes” said Lancaster.
"It's great to see our established players back, there are injuries, but one or two people are coming back on form.
"I've coached Henry [Trinder] a few times with the Saxons (England B), he's struggled a bit through injuries to get a consistent run of form.
"He's played exceptionally well in all his games and on merit he deserves to be on the squad.
"At the moment, Henry will probably play this weekend, we've got Luther in there too. On merit he deserves to be in there, delighted to see he's kick on from that Argentina tour.”
England squad to play Qantas Wallabies
Twickenham November 2nd 11.30pm AEDT
Forwards: D Attwood (Bath Rugby), D Cole (Leicester Tigers), A Corbisiero (Northampton Saints), T Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), D Hartley (Northampton Saints), M Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby), J Launchbury (London Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton Saints), J Marler (Harlequins) B Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), G Parling (Leicester Tigers), C Robshaw (Harlequins), B Vunipola (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens), D Wilson (Bath Rugby), T Wood (Northampton Saints), T Youngs (Leicester Tigers).
Backs: C Ashton (Saracens), M Brown (Harlequins), F Burns (Gloucester Rugby), L Burrell (Northampton Saints), D Care (Harlequins), L Dickson (Northampton Saints), K Eastmond (Bath Rugby), O Farrell (Saracens), T Flood (Leicester Tigers), B Foden (Northampton Saints), A Goode (Saracens), H Trinder (Gloucester Rugby), J Tomkins (Saracens), B Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby), C Wade (London Wasps) M Yarde (London Irish), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers).
England v Qantas Wallabies (Twickenham, Nov 2), England v Argentina (Twickenham, Nov 9), v New Zealand (Twickenham, Nov 16).
To check out all the fixtures for the Qantas Wallabies Gran Slam Spring Tour CLICK HERE