Centre Jonathan Joseph returns for Lancaster's team against Wallabies, and will add the X-factor missing from previous Pool A loss to Wales at Twickenham.
Only victory will do for England against Australia in Rugby World Cup Pool A this weekend, it’s simple.
If they lose to the Wallabies, they will become the first-ever host nation to fail to make the quarter-final stages. Losing to Wales last weekend was embarrassing. The way England allow their neighbours to slip past them thanks to poor decision-making showed a real lack of leadership and quality.
Stuart Lancaster’s men went from title contenders to the brink of falling at the first hurdle. England’s 8/1 best-price in the outright betting market on the tournament with BetVictor reflects their predicament, while being just 4/5 with Betfair to make it our of their group is deeply concerning.
History, however, is on England’s side. The last time they were this much of a shambles was their terrible showing in the opener of the 2007 edition against South Africa, but they went on to make the final.
A repeat of that here may be too much to ask or hope for this time, but Lancaster has the tools to tackle Australia following a sporting summer where those on tour from Down Under in England have had little joy.
The home side are 5/6 with bet365 to beat the Wallabies and this price should be snapped up when you consider the team named by the England coach. Sam Burgess has become a rather large stick with which to beat Lancaster with, so he has been relegated to the bench for this one and Jonathan Joseph returns.
Seeing barnstorming centre Joseph return is reason enough to excite England fans. The Bath man has five tries to his name in just 14 international outings and he has the all the makings of a world class operator, something England desperately missed against the Welsh.
Joseph is thus a terrific top-price 3/1 with Coral to cross anytime against the Aussies. who have made 14 changes after crushing semi-pros Uruguay in their previous outing.
The fresh Wallabies are dangerous, but travel poorly if recent history is any indicator. Australia have lost three of their last four visits to the hallowed turf of Twickenham, so England will want to start strongly both to ease anxiety among their own support and pile pressure on their opponents.
Joseph is also worth considering at a huge top-price with Ladbrokes at 14/1 to be the first man over the whitewash in this must-win clash for Lancaster.
Make no mistake, England will get the ball to Joseph at every opportunity in the early stages, and he will be the man tasked with getting his nation off to a good start.
BETTING TIP: Jonathan Joseph scores a try anytime @ 3/1 with Coral.
All odds were correct at time of posting.