England to change things yet again in midfield with Jonathan Joseph in for Slammin' Sam

An 18th different midfield combination for Lancaster.

Joseph missed the defeat to Wales.
Joseph missed the defeat to Wales.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

ENGLAND HEAD COACH Stuart Lancaster is set to trial his 18th different  midfield trio in just three-and-a-half-years, as Jonathan Joseph looks on course to return from a chest injury to face Australia this weekend.

Joseph missed the defeat to Wales on Saturday through injury, but is believed to have recovered on time, with reports in England saying he will reclaim his place in the centre for Saturday’s meeting at Twickenham.

Owen Farrell looks set to start again at out-half, with Joseph starting at outside centre in place of Sam Burgess, and Brad Barritt moving back to inside centre.

The combination will be Lancaster’s 18th different midfield trio since his first game in charge of England in 2012.

Burgess will drop to the bench, while Ben Morgan looks set to start at number 8 in the absence of injured Billy Vunipola.

Courtney Lawes’ knee injury means a possible start for Joe Launchbury alongside Geoff Parling, with the pair set to reform their partnership in the second row which was so effective during the 2013 Six Nations.

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Neil Treacy

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