Hughes and Francis return to England fold as Eddie Jones names 28-man training squad ahead of Wallabies clash
Piers Francis and Nathan Hughes have returned to the England training squad ahead of the national side's clash with the Wallabies at Twickenham this weekend. The duo are amongst the 28-players head coach Eddie Jones has named to prepare for the fixture, in which he will come head-to-head with fellow countryman and Australian head coach Michael Cheika.
Hughes has not played since being handed a six-week ban for a fracas with Gloucester flanker Lewis Ludlow and subsequent 'what a joke" tweet prior to the conclusion of the Fijian-born number eight's disciplinary hearing. The 27-year-old's suspension ended this week, bringing him back into contention for the final game of the 2018 Autumn Internationals.
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs)
Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors) *
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs)
Brad Shields (Wasps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Elliott Stooke (Bath Rugby)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)
Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks)
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
Piers Francis (Northampton Saints)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Last weekend's starting trio Danny Care, Alex Lozowski and Zach Mercer have all been dropped following England's 35-15 victory over Japan last weekend. While Lozowski and Care flattered to deceive during their 40 and 60-minute performances respectively, Mercer struggled to impact the fixture, largely left to impose himself in a defensive role.
The 20-year-old made 14 tackles in just 36 minutes on the field after being replaced by Sam Underhill in the 49th minute and making way for substitute hooker Dylan Hartley whilst Jamie George served a ten-minute spell on the sidelines after receiving a yellow card in the 20th minute.
England will host Australia at Twickenham this Saturday with a 3 pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports. This will be the first time the two teams meet since England claimed a 30-6 victory over twelve months ago, boasting a five-game winning streak over the Wallabies.
Australia head into the clash off the back of a resounding victory over Italy last weekend, a fixture in which head coach Michael Cheika rung the changes in his backline, seeing Leicester Tigers' centre Matt Toomua step in at fly-half, whilst the nation's incumbent standoff, Bernard Foley, filled in at inside-centre in reversed roles. The Stadio Euganeo win also saw the return of 34-year-old utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper, who earned his 117th cap after a two-year Test hiatus.