World Cup-winning centre Mike Tindall insists fly-half Owen Farrell should retain his place at No10 ahead of George Ford for England’s pivotal clash with Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.
Farrell kicked 20 points during England’s disastrous 28-25 defeat to Wales and is poised to keep his spot when head coach Stuart Lancaster names his side to face the Wallabies today.
Centre Jonathan Joseph is set to be restored to the starting XV after recovering from a pectoral injury, while question marks remain over the fitness of scrum-half Ben Youngs and second row Courtney Lawes.
Joseph’s return is expected to result in the demotion of Sam Burgess to the bench with defensive linchpin Brad Barritt at inside centre, although Tindall believes the former South Sydney Rabbitohs star can count himself unfortunate.
“I’m happy that Farrell is staying at No10. I think if you’re looking for consistency and actually just getting into some rhythm, let’s keep him at No10 and get behind him,” said Tindall.
“They are going to stick with Barritt at 12, I think that would have been a tight call with Burgess. I thought Burgess was probably the better of the two [against Wales], he made a couple of defensive errors but he was there, did his job and nullified Jamie Roberts.
“Jonathan Joseph was always going to come back in if fit, he has that little bit of X-factor we need. He can break up a game, there will be spaces out there against the Aussie backline and hopefully he can exploit those.”
Should Wales beat Fiji at the Millennium Stadium this afternoon, England will need to beat two-time World Cup winners Australia in order to avoid becoming the first ever host nation to exit the tournament in the group stages.
“England have got to go forward and be positive,” added Tindall. “They are in a World Cup final at the weekend and they have got to go out and beat Australia and take a little bit of control back themselves.”