England head coach Eddie Jones is refusing to obsess over his side’s record-breaking opportunities and insists he intends to use Saturday's autumn climax against Australia as a World Cup primer.
Powerhouse Nathan Hughes is set for his first start for England, replacing the injured Billy Vunipola at No8, while Marland Yarde is to play on the wing in place of the suspended Elliot Daly.
Jones oversaw England’s three-game demolition of Australia Down Under during the summer, and although they can equal a national record of 14 successive wins against the Wallabies, there is a wider focus.
“We’ve played three Test matches on the trot which is important because it replicates a World Cup pool,” said Jones. “If you get through the pool you then need to win every game to win the World Cup.
“We’ve won three from three so it’s a great dress rehearsal for the World Cup. We need to win this game to progress to the next stage. We’ve got to get in that practice of winning four games on the trot against quality opposition.”
A war of words has raged this week with Australia counterpart Michael Cheika after Jones questioned the Wallabies’ scrummaging technique. Cheika retorted by claiming England prop Dan Cole had scrummaged illegally throughout his career.
“Michael seems to be upset,” added Jones. “We’ll have a cold beer and he’s quite welcome to join us but I can’t control his emotions.”
England's starting XV:
Mike Brown, Marland Yarde, Jonathan Joseph, Owen Farrell, Jonny May, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Dylan Hartley (c), Dan Cole, Courtney Lawes, George Kruis, Chris Robshaw, Tom Wood, Nathan Hughes