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Chris Robshaw v Michael Hooper head to head

Chris Robshaw faces the biggest match of his three-and-a-half year reign as England captain when the hosts attempt to rescue their World Cup by toppling Australia at Twickenham on Saturday. Here Press Association Sport Rugby Correspondent Duncan Bech examines one of the key battlegrounds of the match - his duel with outstanding Wallabies openside Michael Hooper.


Club: Harlequins

Position: Openside flanker

Age: 29

Height: 6ft 2in

Weight: 17st 0lbs

Caps: 41

Test starts: 41

Debut: v Argentina, Salta, June 2009

Tries: 2

International honours: None.

Strengths: Relentless workrate that repeatedly sees him top the statistics for tackles, carries and breakdowns hit; usually found where the action is at its fiercest; leads by example; respected and liked by his team-mates.

Weaknesses: Not a genuine openside, more six and a half than seven; unable to play the role of fetcher; speed over the ground; leadership has improved but doubts over his decision-making resurfaced against Wales.


Club: Waratahs.

Position: Openside flanker

Age: 23

Height: 6ft

Weight: 15st 12lbs

Caps: 47

Test starts: 41

Debut: v Scotland, Newcastle, June 20012

Tries: 8.

International honours: 2015 Rugby Championship title.

Strengths: Rapid over the ground; strong in the tackle despite his lack of size for a modern forward; strong ball carrier who can break tackles; a threat at the breakdown; leadership as a former Australia captain.

Weaknesses: Can be selfish at times; his skill-set not best suited to an attritional game played in difficult conditions; described as a "hybrid centre" by England head coach Stuart Lancaster, so his role is not always clearly defined.


From Belfast Telegraph