Three things to look for in England v Australia rugby Test

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England will go in search of their eighth consecutive win against Australia under former Wallabies boss Eddie Jones at Twickenham on Saturday.

Not that Jones, a lifelong cricket fan, is concerned about that record against the land of his birth.

He was asked whether he took extra pleasure in defeating Australia, the team he guided to a 2003 World Cup final defeat by England, only to be sacked by the Wallabies two years later

"Zero and zero to the second one too, so that's two dots (balls in cricket where no runs are scored) and if you get that in T20 you're not having a good over, so I'd try again!," joked Jones.

England expect a far sterner test following a 69-3 rout of Tonga in their Autumn Nations Series opener last weekend, while the Wallabies will look to bounce back after a 15-13 loss to Scotland ended their five-match winning streak.

AFP Sport looks at three aspects that could have a bearing on the clash:

- England's Smith a starter at 10 -

Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith starts his first Test against a major rugby nation, after coming off the bench against Tonga last week.

He previously made a pair of England appearances in the No 10 shirt against the United States and Canada in July.

Smith, who steered Harlequins to the Premiership title last season, is regarded as one of the most exciting young talents in English rugby.

On Saturday, he is set to have vastly-experienced England captain Owen Farrell alongside him at inside centre, with powerhouse midfielder Manu Tuilagi given a roaming role on the wing.

But an Australia back-row led by outstanding Wallaby captain Michael Hooper will look to deny Smith space.

"We're playing against the side that's beaten the world champions (South Africa) twice," said Jones. "It's a huge step but is he capable of doing it?

"Of course he is. He'll rise to the challenge and handle it well but it's a big step for him."

- Beale to give 'voice' at full-back -

Kurtley Beale, capable of filing several positions, makes his first Test start for two years after being recalled at full-back as the Wallabies rejig their backline after wing Jordan Petaia's tour-ending injury, with Andrew Kellaway back out wide.

"He (Beale) also gives us a lot voice and experience at the back," said Wallabies coach Dave Rennie of the 32-year-old who plays for French club Racing 92.

But Beale will need help unlocking an England defence given the Wallabies are on tour without powerful centre Samu Kerevi and playmaker Quade Cooper because of the pair's Japanese club commitments.

- Prop problems a worry for the Wallabies -

One of rugby's oldest adages states that "forwards win matches and backs decide by how many points".

And against an England side who have had the set-piece edge on Australia in recent encounters, the Wallabies find themselves without two props in Taniela Tupou and Allan Alaalatoa after the pair were ruled out with concussion.

James Slipper has been moved across to the tighthead side of the scrum, with the uncapped Ollie Hoskins, who plays club rugby in England for London Irish, in line for a Test debut off the bench.

"Clearly, he's played loosehead for a long time now but historically he's had time at tighthead and that helps," Rennie said of Slipper.

"We're not looking at excuses -- we're a couple down but we've got a good squad on the park and those guys are going to have to do the job at scrum time," the New Zealander added.


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