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Courtney Lawes and Lewis Ludlam of Northampton Saints
Courtney Lawes and Lewis Ludlam of Northampton Saints
International

Lawes to skipper England in opening Test against Wallabies

Northampton Saints’ forward Courtney Lawes will captain England in Perth as the Red Rose take on Australia this Saturday (kick-off: 11am BST).

Eddie Jones this morning named his 23 for the opening Test of England’s three-match tour, with Saints’ Lewis Ludlam also involved amongst the replacements for the clash against the Wallabies at the Optus Stadium.

Lawes will lead out his country again on his 94th appearance for England, with the 33-year-old closing in on 100 Tests in total having also played five for the British & Irish Lions.

Australia vs England is live on Sky Sports Main Event, with coverage from 10.15am BST. The teams will then travel to Brisbane for the second Test (Saturday 9 July, 11am BST) and then Sydney (Saturday 16 July, 11am BST).

Jones said: “We have had very strong preparation for this game. We did some good recovery work in Fremantle, and quality training in Perth.

“The squad has come together well since we met up last week.

“Picking the 23 out of this group of 36 was difficult. We feel we have a well-balanced team which is ready for this improving Australia team. We’ll take it to them from the start.”

England side to face Australia

15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 10 caps)
14. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 39 caps)
13. Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 12 caps)
12. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 94 caps)
11. Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 11 caps)
10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 10 caps)
9. Danny Care (Harlequins, 84 caps)

1. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 36 caps)
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 66 caps)
3. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 20 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 56 caps)
5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 12 caps)
6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 93 caps) – captain
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 40 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 61 caps)

Replacements:
16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 34 caps)
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 67 caps)
18. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
19. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
20. Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 11 caps)
21. Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
22. Guy Porter (Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
23. Henry Arundell (London Irish, uncapped)

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