England to drop Sam Burgess before facing Australia

SAM Burgess will be dropped for England's crucial meeting with Australia this weekend but Owen Farrell will retain his place, it's understood.

Reports suggest that Burgess, who started in the defeat to Wales, will make way for Jonathan Joseph who has returned to fitness.

Joseph missed the 28-25 loss to Wales with a chest injury but has recovered sufficiently to play in the must-win encounter on Saturday evening. It's understood he will line up alongside Brad Barritt.

Burgess was a controversial choice for last weekend's match due to his lack of Union experience, whilst the inclusion of Farrell was also criticised in some corners. Yet the latter will retain his place for the encounter with Australia, keeping George Ford out of the starting line-up.

Billy Vunipola has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament and will be replaced by Ben Morgan at number eight.

Meanwhile, Joe Launchbury will be given his first start with Courtney Lawes unable to recover from a knee injury in time.

Stuart Lancaster is expected to confirm the side on Thursday.



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