Welcome to live coverage of the Wallabies vs England at Perth’s Optus Stadium.
Wallaby Darcy Swain has been red carded after his hair was pulled by his counterpart Jonny Hill, who was shown a yellow. It continues a chaotic first-half in Perth.
Somehow, however, the Wallabies have managed to go into half-time level at 6-6, with Noah Lolesio leveling up the score after the half-time siren.
Midway through the second half, England have extended their lead to 14-9 after a try to Ellis Genge and a penalty to Owen Farrell saw the visitors kick clear.
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But the Wallabies are in disarray after losing playmaker Quade Cooper during the warm-up and fullback Tom Banks after 20 minutes.
Tight-head prop Allan Alaalatoa is unlikely to return either, having left because of concussion. It has meant James Slipper – a loose-head prop – has had to come on early in the tight-head position because Taniela Tupou is out, too.
Swain’s red card came with the Wallabies lining up a shot at goals. But the TMO was called in after replays were shown of Swain and Hill got up close and personal.
It led to Swain _ in his second year as a Test player — being shown a red card after a headbutt on his opponent.
“It’s silly from Darcy Swain,” former Wallaby Tim Horan told Stan.
“He got drawn into it. He’s a young player, inexperienced. With more experience you don’t do that, you walk away.
“It’s a really stupid error from Darcy Swain. He’ll go off the field and go, ‘I shouldn’t have done that.’
“He’s going to get about three weeks for that.”
Former Wallabies lock Justin Harrison added: “Anytime a player leads with the head, head on head, you’re gone. You’re definitely going to see red. Darcy Swain, we love everything about what he brings to the game, but he’s got that red mist that’s come across him.”
Earlier, discipline and accuracy hurt the Wallabies as Owen Farrell got England on the scoreboard early.
The ex-England skipper, who scored 66 points six years ago during their series whitewash in Australia, landed the opening penalty.
Farrell extended their lead to 6-0 after minutes before Lolesio halved the margin.
Australia made a linebreak through loose-head prop Angus Bell and looked likely to score as Rob Valetini was tackled just short of the line.
But the game changed its course when Swain was red carded and the penalty the home side had was reversed.
Somehow the Wallabies managed to win a penalty on the stroke of half-time and rather than kicking out, they kicked for the corner before earning another penalty and allowing Lolesio to land his second of the night.
Cooper was scratched me minutes before kick-off after injuring his calf.
Banks, meanwhile, fell awkwardly from a kick restart and was forced off with a wrist/arm injury.
The injuries have seen Noah Lolesio start in the No.10 jersey while Jordan Petaia have come into the back three.
James O’Connor will come onto the bench.
His absence is a massive blow for the Wallabies’ hopes of ending their eight-match losing streak against Eddie Jones’ coached England side in Perth.
Six years after Jones started the Wallabies’ rot, England is back in Australia.
While the Wallabies sent England crashing out of their home World Cup in 2015, since Jones took over he has led them to eight straight victories over Australia.
It all started with a 3-0 series whitewash Down Under in 2016. He then helped England boot the Wallabies out of the 2019 World Cup, as Michael Cheika’s side lost in the quarter-final in Japan.
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Now Jones, who extended his winning run to eight over Australia with a 32-15 win at Twickenham by beating Dave Rennie’s coached-Wallabies for the first time, is back to kick-start England’s runway to the World Cup.
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper — the only Wallaby to have featured in all eight defeats — says their first Test of the year is all about winning the “mini” battles.
“We just need to get a couple of wins under the belt, mini wins in the game,” he told reporters on Friday in Perth.
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New England captain Courtney Lawes says their winning run over the Wallabies has the tourists of ending their two-match losing streak from the Six Nations.
“We’re confident going into the game,” he said.
“We’ve got a great team out here and we’ve had a very good training week. We’re not looking for anything less than a win, but we’re expecting a very tough, tough game.
2016 and what it means about perspective.”
WALLABIES (15-1): Tom Banks, Andrew Kellaway, Len Ikitau, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Noah Lolesio, Nic White, Rob Valetini, Michael Hooper (c), Rob Leota, Cadeyrn Neville, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa, Dave Porecki, Angus Bell
Reserves: Folau Fainga’a, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Matt Philip, Pete Samu, Jake Gordon, James Slipper, Jordan Petaia
Coach: Dave Rennie
ENGLAND (15-1): Freddie Steward, Jack Nowell, Joe Marchant, Owen Farrell, Joe Cokanasiga, Marcus Smith, Danny Care, Billy Vunipola, Tom Curry, Courtney Lawes (c), Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Will Stuart, Jamie George, Ellis Genge
Reserves: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Joe Heyes, Ollie Chessum, Lewis Ludlam, Jack van Poortvliet, Guy Porter, Henry Arundell
Coach: Eddie Jones
Follow all the live action in our blog below!