Australia v England: Delight for Luther Burrell as he gets starting berth in Sydney

England's Luther Burrell
England's Luther Burrell
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HUDERSFIELD-born Luther Burrell has earned the nod to start for England when they take on Australia in the opening Test tomorrow.

Owen Farrell will make his first start at fly-half under head coach Eddie Jones after George Ford was dropped.

Farrell, who has been in outstanding form for double winners Saracens, will act as playmaker-in-chief at Suncorp Stadium after playing every match of the recent Grand Slam triumph at inside centre.

That means Burrell will fill the No 12 shirt vacated by Farrell despite only having been called into the touring party once Manu Tuilagi was ruled out by a hamstring injury.

England fielded Ford at fly-half throughout the RBS 6 Nations, but he must now settle for a place among the replacements.

In a surprise selection on the left wing, Marland Yarde has been preferred to Jack Nowell, another of Jones’ Grand Slam heroes and a player who has impressed all season.

“We have picked a side to win in Brisbane,” said Jones. “As always selection was tight and naturally players are disappointed, but we’ve gone with a 23 that has a good mix of experience and youth,” Jones said.

The pack is unchanged from the eight that took the field against France in the final match of the Six Nations with Dylan Hartley at the helm of a team containing 539 caps.

Jones has opted for two second rows on the bench in Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes, where they are joined by Nowell, with Jack Clifford dropping out of the squad altogether. Alex Goode, the newly-crowned Premiership player of the season, has been left out of the 23 with Mike Brown poised to win his 50th cap.

England are targeting a first series victory in Australia having won just three of their 17 Tests Down Under.

“We aim to win every game we play and I am pleased with our preparation since we landed in Australia. The group have acclimatised well, trained hard and there’s a buzz around the camp,” added Jones.

Team: M Brown (Harlequins); A Watson (Bath), J Joseph (Bath), L Burrell (Northampton), M Yarde (Harlequins); O Farrell (Saracens) B Youngs (Leicester); M Vunipola (Saracens), D Hartley (captain, Northampton), D Cole (Leicester), M Itoje (Saracens), G Kruis (Saracens), C Robshaw (Harlequins), J Haskell (Wasps), B Vunipola (Saracens). Replacements: L Cowan-Dickie (Exeter), M Mullan (Wasps), P Hill (Northampton), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), D Care (Harlequins), G Ford (Bath), J Nowell (Exeter).