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Dylan Hartley wins place in England starting line-up

Autumn internationals: England v Australia
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 13 November Kick-off: 1430 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 live and online; text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles; watch live on Sky Sports 1; highlights on BBC Three and online Saturday 1900 GMT and Sunday on BBC Two and online at 1610

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Johnson positive ahead of Australia clash

Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley has replaced Steve Thompson in England's starting line-up for Saturday's Test against Australia at Twickenham.

Hartley is the only change to the XV that took to the field for last weekend's 26-16 defeat by New Zealand.

Saints captain Hartley, 24, made a dynamic impact off the bench, scoring his first Test try to spark a second-half comeback.

Thompson, 32, drops to the bench alongside returning lock Simon Shaw.

Veteran Wasps forward Shaw, 37, has replaced Dave Attwood after recovering from a calf injury.

Gloucester's Attwood can consider himself unfortunate to miss out after making a confident international debut against the All Blacks.

England manager Martin Johnson has decided against making any changes to his centre combination, with Mike Tindall and Shontayne Hape to continue their partnership.

However, Johnson has told his team they must improve in defence if they are to avoid a heavier defeat against Australia.

New Zealand opened up a 14-0 lead after 20 minutes and the England boss said: "We can't do that against this week against Australia.

"You can't let a team like that get a jump on you as they are very good.

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"In some ways they [Australia] are more dangerous than the All Blacks in the way they can break for tries.

"They get around you and the support is sharp. We really need to get those bits sorted out. It's about speed and intensity.

"We were a bit disjointed defensively, especially early on against New Zealand.

"It's a little bit of everything - not one glaring error by one player - these are fixable things, and we need to fix them before the weekend."

England's most recent encounter with Australia was a 21-20 win in Sydney in June , and Johnson has called on the team to try and aspire to the standard they produced that night.

"We need to get back to the level of performance we showed in Sydney right from the start," Johnson added.

"In Sydney we were very quick defensively, we were far more organised which makes you able to be more aggressive.

"We made it too easy for New Zealand at times but the good thing for us is that our standards are higher than that.

"We have to turn that into a force for good this week and go and do it."

Dylan Hartley
Hartley scored a try against the All Blacks after coming off the bench

A cartilage injury ruled Hartley out of the summer trip to Australia, and he will be one of only two players in Saturday's starting XV who did not play in that win in Sydney - the other being Sale prop Andrew Sheridan.

Having missed the summer trip, Hartley said he was looking forward to the chance to take on the Wallabies this time - and he would not step back from getting stuck in.

"If you look at hookers across the game, they are confrontational people. You are in the thick of it so you have got to have an edge about you and it is certainly an aspect of the game I enjoy," Hartley stated.

"Hookers don't take a backwards step. I don't think you will ever take that away from me. I certainly wouldn't be playing in the front row as a hooker if you did.

"Every week you go out to be dominant in the set piece because that is the foundations of how you play the game.

"The Australians do things differently to the All Blacks. There are things we have identified.

"We have done more live scrummaging this year, practicing things that opposing teams might try to do at the weekend and dealing with that."

Bath's Lewis Moody will lead the side out for the fifth successive game, with the Cook Cup at stake.

Australia, who play Leicester Tigers on Tuesday, outclassed Wales 25-16 on Saturday and beat New Zealand in Hong Kong at the end of October.


England: B Foden (Northampton); C Ashton (Northampton), M Tindall (Gloucester), S Hape (Bath), M Cueto (Sale); T Flood (Leicester), B Youngs (Leicester); A Sheridan (Sale), D Hartley (Northampton), D Cole (Leicester), C Lawes (Northampton), T Palmer (Stade Francais), T Croft (Leicester), L Moody (Bath, capt), N Easter (Harlequins).

Replacements: S Thompson (Leeds), D Wilson (Bath), S Shaw (Wasps), H Fourie (Leeds), D Care (Harlequins), C Hodgson (Sale), D Armitage (London Irish).



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see also
Jeremy Guscott Q&A
09 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Mealamu banned for rest of tour
09 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Highlights - England 16-26 New Zealand
06 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Whitelock enjoys Twickenham debut
06 Nov 10 |  English
Johnson blames 'rusty' England
06 Nov 10 |  English
Johnson frustrated by slow start
06 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
England 16-26 New Zealand
06 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union


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