Danny Care returns to England starting line-up for Sydney decider

Danny Care in action for England during 1st Test on 2022 Australia tour Danny Care will start at scrum-half for England (Gary Day/PA)

Danny Care has been restored to England’s starting line-up at the expense of Jack van Poortvliet for Saturday’s decisive third Test against Australia.

Care started the series opener in Perth a fortnight ago but swapped roles with van Poortvliet for the 25-17 victory in Brisbane that set up the clash at Sydney Cricket Ground.

Making his full debut at Suncorp Stadium, van Poortvliet was outstanding and his demotion to providing scrum-half cover from the bench is a surprise.

Eddie Jones has made two further changes for England’s final game of the season, both enforced by injuries sustained in the second Test.

Ollie Chessum comes in for Maro Itoje in the second row to make his first Test start and Lewis Ludlam replaces Sam Underhill at openside flanker. Both Itoje and Underhill suffered series-ending concussions in Brisbane.

Jack Willis has recovered from a rib injury to be included amongst the replacements and Nick Isiekwe makes his first appearance of the tour on the bench.

Explaining the surprise switch at scrum-half, Jones said “Paul Williams is the referee and he’s very hard on the tackler rolling away. We feel there will be some quick ball at the start of the game that Danny can take advantage.”

England stand one victory away from repeating their series triumph on these shores of six years ago and Jones seized the opportunity to take a swipe at the team he coached from 2001 to 2005, making a pointed reference to the Wallabies basing themselves on the Gold Coast rather than staying in the host cities.

“I’ve been disappointed in the media coverage. I’ve tried to watch the news every morning and there’s nothing on it about rugby at all. As a person who grew up with rugby here that’s disappointing,” he said.

“We need rugby to be a strong sport and World Rugby needs Australia to be a strong rugby country. There’s always going to be a battle with NRL and AFL, we know that, but we need rugby to be a bit more prominent.

“We’ve been doing our bit. I was at a charity lunch today (Thursday) and we’re going out to coach the communities tonight. We’re trying to build the game up – it’s a 1-1 decider. But there needs to be equal effort from the other team too.”

England team to play Australia in third Test

Forwards: 1 Ellis Genge, 2 Jamie George, 3 Will Stuart, 4 Ollie Chessum, 5 Jonny Hill, 6 Courtney Lawes (Captain), 7 Lewis Ludlam, 8 Billy Vunipola

Backs: 9 Danny Care, 10 Marcus Smith, 11 Tommy Freeman, 12 Owen Farrell, 13 Guy Porter, 14 Jack Nowell, 15 Freddie Steward

Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Nick Isiekwe, 20 Jack Willis, 21 Jack van Poortlviet, 22 Will Joseph, 23 Henry Arundell

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