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Brian O'Driscoll urges England to throw Henry Slade in against Australia

Published 27/09/2015

Brian O'Driscoll believes Henry Slade, pictured, should start against Australia
Brian O'Driscoll believes Henry Slade, pictured, should start against Australia

Brian O'Driscoll has urged England to restore George Ford at fly-half and pick Henry Slade at outside centre for Saturday's critical World Cup clash with Australia.

A 28-25 defeat by Wales at Twickenham has left the hosts needing to dispatch the Wallabies to revive their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster was criticised for replacing Ford with Owen Farrell against Wales and picking Sam Burgess at 12 with Brad Barritt shifting to outside centre.

Farrell performed well, but former Ireland centre O'Driscoll insists he must make way for Ford and one-cap rookie Slade should be given the chance to rescue England at the expense of Barritt.

"From a player's perspective and an attractive rugby point of view, it would be brilliant to see George Ford back at 10 because he's a player's player," O'Driscoll told ITV.

"Maybe keep Sam Burgess at 12 and have a go with Henry Slade at 13. If Jonathan Joseph isn't fit, throw Sam in. If you're going to go down, go down fighting.

"England have bit of a conundrum because Australia like a loose game and want it open.

"To negate that you need to play a very tight game against them. They'll probably play a very similar team just to keep it nice and tight."

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