Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wallabies Cast Sailor Adrift

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wallabies Cast Sailor Adrift

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alex Lowe

Australia coach Eddie Jones has swung the axe just as his critics demanded ( but it was Wendell Sailor who was chopped from the Wallabies squad to face England and not under-pressure captain George Gregan.

Jones has made five changes from last week's 26-16 defeat to France by the Wallabies attempt to snap a six-game losing streak, their worst run of results since 1969, with an inexperienced side.

While outspoken critics back home have demanded the head of Australia's 115-Test veteran skipper, it was Sailor who proved the highest-profile casualty.

The former rugby league ace does not even make the bench ( a direct result of an anonymous display against France and his inability to kick ( as Jones decided to let his young guns loose on Twickenham.

ACT Brumbies flyer Mark Gerrard is preferred to Sailor on the right wing while Drew Mitchell starts on the left as Mat Rogers returns to fly-half. With Morgan Turinui and Lote Tuqiri again preferred in the centres, Matt Giteau slips down to the bench. In the pack, 22-year-old Queensland lock Hugh McMeniman makes his first Test start after replacing Mark Chisholm, while John Roe comes in at blind-side flanker for Rocky Elsom.

"Wendell was a bit disappointing against France, he didn't give us the go-forward we wanted," said Jones.

"Mark runs really good lines, he has a very good kicking game and England, with Charlie Hodgson at fly-half, will play a lot of field position.

"Mark has the ability to run, pass and kick. It makes our game a little bit more flexible.

"Mat Rogers deserves another opportunity to start at fly-half after a good performance against New Zealand and then finishing the game there last week.

"With Rogers at 10 and Morgan Turinui at inside centre, Matt Giteau will give us plenty of flexibility off the bench.

"Hugh McMeniman is a good natural footballer, he has a good spring and is very mobile around the field. He is a real prospect for us. …

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