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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 June 2006, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
Give England backs time - Ashton
Listen to live coverage of the match on BBC Five Live Sports Extra and this website (UK users only) - 1100BST kick-off

Mathew Tait trains with England in Australia this week
Tait will be playing only his second Test on Sunday
Assistant coach Brian Ashton has warned supporters not to expect England's new backline to be the "finished article" when they face Australia on Sunday.

"The Australian backs have a massive advantage in experience," Ashton told Five Live Sport.

"It would be nice to think they were going to play the game of their lives, but you've got to have some reality.

"There's a massive amount of potential, but I don't think anyone should expect them to be the finished article."

That said, Ashton revealed that if the English pack provide a platform, England will make good use of the pace of outside centre Mathew Tait and wing Tom Varndell, both winning their second caps.

Peter Richards reminds me of those Australian wicket-keepers in cricket

Brian Ashton
"If you don't get scrummage and line-out right, your backs might as well get back on the plane and go home," he added.

"But the forwards have been working pretty hard to make sure we do win ball and if we do, Tait will get the ball, there is no doubt about that.

"We certainly intend to give the guys in the outside channel the opportunity to show what they're made of."

Ashton also believes debutant scrum-half Peter Richards will relish the chance to pit himself against George Gregan, the Australian captain who will win a record-equalling 119th cap.


"I don't think Peter will be overawed," Ashton added.

"He is a very aggressive, dynamic young man who loves nothing more than a big challenge, and they don't come much bigger than George Gregan and Australia v England.

"Peter will handle himself pretty well, not just as a scrum-half but cajoling those around him too.

"He reminds me of those Australian wicket-keepers in cricket - fiery guys like Ian Healy and Rod Marsh who will keep the guys going throughout the game."

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