LONDON, England — Australia have left out the World Cup’s leading try-scorer Drew Mitchell from their starting line-up for the quarterfinal against England in Marseille on Saturday.
Mitchell has crossed seven times for the Wallabies in four appearances in the competition, but coach John Connolly has opted for Adam Ashley-Cooper on the right wing, Mitchell is relegated to the bench.
Australia captain Stirling Mortlock returns to outside center after recovering from a shoulder injury which kept him out of the pool victories over Fiji and Canada.
Rookie fly-half Berrick Barnes and scrum-half George Gregan also return to the side after being rested for the win over Canada.
Connolly said they wanted to play a “slightly tighter game” against the reigning World Cup champions.
He is wary of the threat posed by England who beat Australia in the 2003 World Cup final in Sydney.
“England are a very dangerous team. Their set-piece has been their cornerstone for many years and they have incredible speed out wide and a number 10 (Jonny Wilkinson) who steers them around exceptionally well,” he said.
“When you look at our results through the pool games you would have to say we’re pretty happy with where we’re at. “But we’re very conscious that we have to improve considerably on that to go any further in the tournament.”