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George Ford demoted, Owen Farrell moves to 10 for England's match with Wallabies

England coach Eddie Jones has unveiled an unexpected backline to face Australia in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, shifting Owen Farrell to five-eighth and demoting George Ford.

Jones was expected to name the same XV who beat Argentina in their final pool match two weeks ago but has instead surprised by making made three personnel changes and a positional switch.

Having gone with the Ford-Farrell double pivot set-up for most of this year, including two of their three pool games in Japan, Jones has had a change of heart.

Ford drops to the bench, with Farrell and powerhouse midfield back Manu Tuilagi both moving in a spot, making way for creative centre Henry Slade to be introduced.

There are two changes to the starting tight five, with Jones turning to a pair of players who are attending their third Word Cup.

Courtney Lawes starts ahead of George Kruis at lock while Mako Vunipola will make his first start of the tournament at tighthead prop.

Vunipola came off the bench against Argentina two weeks ago in a rare appearance since injuring his hamstring in early May.

He was expected to be named among the reserves again but will instead start in a pack that also features his brother Billy Vunipola, himself having shaken off an ankle injury suffered against the Pumas to retain his No.8 jersey.

The brothers are among six key starting figures from England's powerhouse Saracens club.

Lock Maro Itoje and hooker Jamie George are in the pack while Farrell and fullback Elliot Daly are the most influential members of the backline.

Farrell's playmaking ability will be put fully to the test, having played more of a hybrid role at inside centre when Ford has started.

Jones may have wanted to try out the backline combination in last Saturday's scheduled final pool game against France but didn't get the chance as the game was cancelled because of the safety fears created by Typhoon Hagibis.

Another change to the bench features the introduction of Jonathan Joseph as outside back cover after Jack Nowell succumbed to a hamstring injury.

ENGLAND:
Elliot Daly, Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Manu Tuilagi, Jonny May, Owen Farrell (capt), Ben Youngs, Billy Vunipola, Sam Underhill, Tom Curry, Courtney Lawes, Maro Itoje, Kyle Sinckler, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola. Res: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Joe Marler, Dan Cole, George Kruis, Lewis Ludlam, Willi Heinz, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph.

Owen Farrell Source: 1 NEWS