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Last Updated: Monday, 5 June 2006, 04:08 GMT 05:08 UK
Robinson wants 'ruthless' England
England coach Andy Robinson pictured on Manly beach in Sydney
England are using the same Manly hotel as before the 2003 RWC final
England coach Andy Robinson insists his tourists have a "fantastic opportunity" to press their claims for a World Cup spot in the two Tests in Australia.

Robinson is set to give several players a debut in Sunday's first Test.

"The key message is that we've got 16 games now in 16 months to the next World Cup," he said.

"Each player involved has a fantastic opportunity to put their hand up for that. They must show the ruthlessness we need to take the chance."

Robinson will announce his starting line-up on Wednesday, with Test debuts looming for Gloucester scrum-half Peter Richards and his club colleague, lock Alex Brown.

World Cup winner Mike Catt, 34, is expected to be recalled for his first Test appearance since England were crushed 51-15 by Australia in Brisbane two years ago.

He is likely to partner Mathew Tait in midfield, the 20-year-old Newcastle centre likely to be preferred to Falcons team-mate Jamie Noon.

Competition for the back three roles is intense, with Iain Balshaw, Mark Van Gisbergen, James Simpson-Daniel, Tom Voyce and Tom Varndell all in contention for a starting spot.

Australia will be tough and uncompromising when needed

Andy Robinson
The only member of England's 2003 World Cup final starting line-up on tour, Ben Kay, is likely to be recalled to partner Brown in the second row.

Robinson believes Australia will provide a much stiffer test up front under new head coach John Connolly and forwards coach Michael Foley, both formerly together at Bath, than at Twickenham last November.

Connolly is thought to be considering giving giant prop Rodney Blake and hooker Tai McIsaac Test debuts on Sunday, with England likely to go with Graham Rowntree, Lee Mears and Julian White in the front row.

"We knew the Wallabies would pick a strong squad that typifies what John Connolly and Mike Foley want to do with a big tight-five," he added.

"We are preparing for a battle at the scrums and line-outs. You only have to look at the way Bath have performed in the last five years to know they (Australia) will be very effective defensively and have four or five jumpers in the line-out.

"(Assistant coach) Scott Johnson will also have a terrific influence on how Australia play.

"They will be tough and uncompromising when needed, but they will also play with width and flair."

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