England and Australia contest the first of the Rugby World Cup quarter final's in Oita on Saturday and England come into the game as favourites to go through.
England v Australia, Saturday 19th October, Oita, KO 09:15 (South African time)
Weather Forecast – Oita (note this stadium has a retractable roof)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant Referees: Romain Poite (France), Mathieu Raynal (France)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
England topped Pool C with a record of 3 wins and 1 draw and that draw was derived from a cancelled game against France last weekend. Both England and France were already assured of their places in their quarter finals by the time the game was called off and the 0-0 draw that was allocated saw England top the pool with 17 log points and a points difference of +99.
England scored a total of 17 tries in the 3 pool matches they did contest, victories over Tonga (35-3), USA (45-7) and Argentina (39-10). The win over Los Pumas stands out although it's worth pointing out that Argentina played more than half of that game with 14 men.
This will be England's first visit of the tournament to the Oita Stadium.
Luke Cowan-Dickie has scored 3 tries for England in the tournament so far, George Ford, Joe Cokanasiga and Manua Tuilagi have all scored 2.
England are trading at around 4/1 to win the tournament and 9/4 to reach the final.
Australia finished as runners up to Wales in Pool D with a record of 3 wins and 1 defeat. The loss came against the Welsh in their second outing of the tournament, a game they eventually lost 29-25 after a fightback from a 23-8 half time deficit came up just short.
The Wallabies had started their campaign by beating Fiji 39-21 with 4 of their 6 tries arriving in the final 24 minutes of the match after they found themselves behind at half time. In later pool matches they beat Uruguay 45-10 at this venue and wrapped up by beating Georgia 27-8. They scored a total of 20 tries in their 4 pool matches and their points difference clocked in at +68.
Australia are trading between 20/1 and 25/1 to win the tournament and 10/1 to 12/1 to reach the final.
Dane Haylett-Petty is leading try scorer for the Wallabies in these finals with 3 and 5 other players have scored 2.
In RWC 2015 Australia edged out Scotland 35-34 in the quarter finals, they went on to beat Argentina 29-15 in the semi finals before losing the final to the All Blacks 34-17.
England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (captain), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Dan Cole, 19 George Kruis, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 George Ford, 23 Jonathan Joseph
Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Reece Hodge, 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Will Genia, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 David Pocock, 5 Rory Arnold, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 James Slipper, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Adam Coleman, 20 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 21 Nic White, 22 Matt To'omua, 23 James O'Connor
Head to Head
England have won 8 and lost 1 of the last 9 head to heads.
The most recent meeting came at Twickenham in November 2018 and England came out on top 37-18.
The Wallabies only win over England in the last 6 years came in RWC 2015 when they won a pool stage match at Twickenham 33-13, a result which contributed to England failing to qualify for the quarter finals.
There have been 6 previous head to heads in the RWC with both sides winning 3 times including a win for England in the 2003 final in Sydney and victory for Australia in the 1991 final at Twickenham
The teams have met twice at the RWC quarter final stage, England edged both of those matches, 12-10 in France in 2007 and 25-22 in South Africa in 1995
Most Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2018 INT Twickenham England 37–18 Australia (Tries 4-2)
2017 INT Twickenham England 30–6 Australia (Tries 4-0)
2016 INT Twickenham England 37–21 Australia (Tries 4-2)
2016 INT Sydney Australia 40-44 England (Tries 5-4)
2016 INT Melbourne Australia 7-23 England (Tries 1-2)
2016 INT Brisbane Australia 28-39 England (Tries 3-4)
2015 RWC Twickenham England 13–33 Australia (Tries 1-3)
Early Betting - Handicap
England -8.5 points at 9/10
Australia +8.5 points at 9/10
Quotes are an average of what was on offer from a selection of bookmakers at the time of writing and are subject to change.
The handicap has been stable since it opened and all of the bookies are sitting around the England -8.5 mark. A lot of the talk this week is whether England will be going into this a bit cold as a result of the French game being cancelled and while there could be an argument for that I think the smile on Eddie Jones face said it all and I think England will benefit from being fresh.
They have recent dominance against Australia and while the Aussies have shown in patches what they are capable of (the 2nd half against Wales) I am expecting this English pack to get the upper hand and for England to draw clear and win fairly comfortably.
Bet: 6 units England -8.5 at 19/20 at Sunbet
Points and exotic bets
I will post my thoughts on the total points line and any exotic markets here on Friday night – also keep an eye on the forum thread where punters share their views, information and bets.
Update:23h15 Friday Night
The points line has been set at 45.5 and that looks about right so at this point no further interest for me beyond England on the handicap
Use It Or Lost It,RWC 1/4 Final Preview
Brent Graham is joined by Couch Critic, Judge Rugby and Brendon Shields to chat about the Rugby World Cup with a focus on the upcoming quarter finals.