Dewi Morris: England need to close Australia down if they want to win at Twickenham
Dewi Morris says England cannot afford to let Australia play their natural game on Saturday.
By Dewi Morris
Last Updated: 01/11/13 10:38am
Anyone who thinks Australia are a bad side need to go and watch their win against Argentina and that last game against New Zealand. If England do not close them down, then they will make them pay.
I had my doubts initially about Israel Folau but it is 'hold my hands up time' and I admit I got it wrong. He is phenomenal. The Wallabies orchestrate the re-starts for him because of his skills in the air and if there are any of those cross-field kicking scenarios and he gets under the ball then he will score. His defence may not have been the best as he got to grips with union but he is 6ft 3inches, 17 stone and can jump off both feet.
They have an interesting partnership with Matt Toomua and Tevita Kuridrani, too - both of them love to have a go and they will have Will Genia and Quade Cooper pulling the strings. England just cannot afford to give these boys any space.
It may all come down to the forwards and while I think England will really have a go and target them, I think Ewen Mckenzie would have got his pack ready for the onslaught.
If there is one man who should have a little bit of inside knowledge of the old scrum rules that are now the new scrum rules, it's McKenzie.
It is interesting that they have taken the captaincy away from Horwill which is not a bad thing. That gives him the chance to focus purely on his game and to do what he can to prevent England getting dominance in the pack. he will have to dominate the lineout and get around the field to really make sure that they get go-forward ball.
I think the pressure has eased a bit on the Wallabies after that win against Argentina - it was a very good win indeed. I really enjoy the way they play the game, with a lot of movement and if Australia get the go forward then England could be in for a torrid time.
For England, there are no major surprises in this team - people are talking about Lee Dickson but that is the Lancaster way. Dickson is one of the handful of players that Lancaster has coached through the ranks and who have all rewarded him. Dickson has really improved too; he has calmed down and his kicking and passing have come along tremendously. He plays this 100 mile an hour game for Northampton which is fantastic.
When Saints signed Kahn Fotuali'i, Dickson could have done two things. He could have sulked about it or he could have done what he has done - and that is rise to the challenge and become a better player. I applaud his selection because that means you are going to have three good No.9's who will all have experience at the highest level. Saying that, he will have a tough task to marshall Genia who is playing some excellent rugby.
Joel Tomkins is a good shout, too. Chris Ashton must really be running off Tomkins shoulder because he is a big lad who can get his arms up and get the ball away - he is our poor man's Sonny Bill Williams.
Marland Yarde is one to watch too - he is a very special player. he breaks through tackles, is always looking for work and he can finish off tries too. he has proved that he is ready for this and I cannot wait to see how he goes against Australia
These games are all building blocks for the World Cup and a chance for Lancaster to try out a few players and a few combinations.
I want to see progression from England - they need to use these games to start nailing down their 23-man squad for 2015. That starts on Saturday and it should be a thrilling encounter.
Watch England take on Australia this Saturday. Coverage starts on Sky 3D and Sky Sports 2 HD from 1:30pm.