Flanker Harrison named for England’s bid to sweep series
LONDON – England coach Eddie Jones has all but stuck with the team that sealed a first series win on Australian soil, naming only one injury-forced change to the starting side for the third and final test against the hosts in Sydney on Saturday.
Northampton flanker Teimana Harrison comes into the back row in place of openside James Haskell, who was unable to recover from a foot injury, the team said in a statement on Thursday.
New Zealand-born 23-year-old Harrison, previously described as a ‘street-fighter’ by Jones, will line up for only his second cap after his debut against Wales last month.
“Teimana has trained well throughout the tour and deserves his spot,” Australian Jones said. “He’s an excellent defender and his robustness will be important to us at the start of the game.”
After England sealed the series 2-0 with a 23-7 victory in Melbourne, Jones spoke of injecting fresh legs at Sydney Football Stadium while resting some weary players. But he has left the side otherwise unchanged for a dead rubber he likened to a “World Cup final”.
There was some doubt that winger Jack Nowell might not recover from a head-knock but he cleared concussion protocols to leave Harlequins’ Jack Clifford warming the bench again.
“Jack Clifford is unlucky to miss out, but will finish the game for us,” added Jones. “We’ve treated this week like a dress rehearsal for the World Cup because that what we’re always building towards.
“To win a World Cup you have to win three big games in a row — we’ve won two so this third game is the most important game we’ll play all year. “It will be a good indication of where we are as a team.” -Reuters