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Thursday, 14 November, 2002, 16:55 GMT
Woodman to miss Australia Test
Trevor Woodman (left) in action for England against New Zealand
Trevor Woodman's neck injury has not healed
England v Australia, 16 November, kick-off at 1430 GMT. Live coverage on BBC Radio Five Live and BBC Sport Online, TV highlights at 1725 GMT on BBC One.

Trevor Woodman has been ruled out of the England side for their Twickenham clash with world champions Australia on Saturday.

The Gloucester prop has not recovered from a minor neck injury sustained during England training earlier this week, and his place will be taken by Jason Leonard.

Leonard will win his 98th cap, while Northampton rookie Robbie Morris moves on to the bench.


Australia are a great team, and great teams don't lose two games in a row
Steve Thompson

Woodman's fellow prop, Phil Vickery, and centre Will Greenwood have both passed fitness tests after missing training earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Northampton's Steve Thompson said he is relishing the chance to build on his growing international reputation.

The Northampton hooker established himself as a key member of England's pack barely nine months after making his Test debut.

He was one of England's outstanding performers in the 31-28 win over New Zealand last Saturday, and his appetite for more of the same against Australia on Saturday is infectious.

"It was a very fast game against New Zealand, but I really enjoyed the occasion, and you have got to learn as much as you can from games like that," he said.

Thompson won his first cap against Scotland last February, and has been an England ever-present since.

But he said he had no illusions about the size of the task facing England against an Australia team licking its wounds after its surprise defeat against Ireland.

"We know that Australia are a great team, and great teams don't lose two games in a row," Thompson added.

"Australia have been talking about England as being the big game of this tour, and having lost to Ireland, they won't want to go away losing another game."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
England coach Phil Larder speaks to Grandstand
"We have to - and will - improve"
England back-row Richard Hill talks to Grandstand
"There's huge expectation on our shoulders"

England v Australia

England v NZ

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