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Danny Care to make England Test comeback after four years

By Josh Raisey
Danny Care faces a stint on the sidelines

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Danny Care is set to complete his Test rugby return on Saturday against Australia at Perth’s Optus Stadium after an absence of nearly four years.

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The 35-year-old is set to start in the No.9 jersey with Leicester Tigers’ uncapped Jack van Poortlviet on the bench. He is joined by his fellow uncapped Tigers teammate Guy Porter on the bench, with London Irish fullback Henry Arundell also poised to make his debut as a substitute.

Courtney Lawes has retained the captaincy after the Six Nations despite Owen Farrell’s return, and will start at blindside flanker. He completes a back-row alongside Tom Curry at openside and Billy Vunipola, who will also be playing his first Test match since the 2021 Six Nations.

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Mako Vunipola marks his return to the England squad for the first time since the 2021 Six Nations, and has been picked on the bench. He did represent the British & Irish Lions last summer, however.

England were struck by the news shortly before naming the squad that lock Charlie Ewels will miss the remainder of the tour with a knee injury, meaning Jonny Hill partners Maro Itoje in the second-row, with Ollie Chessum on the bench and Lawes also providing cover there.

“We have had very strong preparation for this game. We did some good recovery work in Fremantle and quality training in Perth,” head coach Eddie Jones said. “The squad has come together well since we met up last week.

“Picking the 23 out of this group of 36 was difficult. We feel we have a well-balanced team which is ready for this improving Australia team. We’ll take it to them from the start.”

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England squad to face Australia
15. Freddie Steward
14. Jack Nowell
13. Joe Marchant
12. Owen Farrell
11. Joe Cokanasiga
10. Marcus Smith
9. Danny Care
1. Ellis Genge
2. Jamie George
3. Will Stuart
4. Maro Itoje
5. Jonny Hill
6. Courtney Lawes (C)
7. Tom Curry
8. Billy Vunipola

Finishers
16. Luke Cowan-Dickie
17. Mako Vunipola
18. Joe Heyes
19. Ollie Chessum
20. Lewis Ludlam
21. Jack van Poortlviet
22. Guy Porter
23. Henry Arundell

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