Australia’s selection policy has seemed muddled, as well. Christian Leali’ifano starts at fly-half today as the half-back combination changes once more. Teenager Jordan Petaia is at outside centre.
Dany Haylett-Petty, one of their stand-out players during this tournament, is excluded from the 23 entirely. But, to some degree, you can disregard form in these games.
Let England scrum-half Ben Youngs, in his third Rugby World Cup, set the scene.
“Sometimes you under-perform or are beaten by the better team and clearly we weren’t good enough in 2011 and 2015. But in 2019 I believe we are more than capable of achieving something.
“We have to make sure we have clear thinking when we take to the field. We have been in camp since June and you are going to fight to the end.
We have some boys in this team who don’t know when they are beaten. They will fight to the very end.”
There is just a nagging sense that this game will go to the wire and begin quarter-final weekend with a bang.