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Thompson and Wilkinson earn England recall

World Cup winners Jonny Wilkinson and Steve Thompson have been recalled to the England team which takes on Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.

The selection caps off a remarkable comeback for Thompson whose career went downhill after the famous victory over Australia in Sydney back in 2003 when he was forced to retire from rugby with a neck injury.

However, the hooker recovered from what appeared a career ending problem and now plays for French club Brive. Wilkinson will make his first appearance in an England shirt since 2008 when he lines out at number 10 on Saturday.

Elsewhere a vast of late cry-offs has forced England coach Martin Johnson to try out a series of untested combinations against the Wallabies including a back three of Ugo Monye, Matt Banahan and Mark Cueto, as well as a centre pairing of Shane Geraghty and Dan Hipkiss while Danny Care partners Wilkinson at halfback.

England squad to play Australia: 15 Ugo Monye; 14 Mark Cueto, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Shane Geraghty, 11 Matt Banahan; 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Danny Care; 1 Tim Payne, 2 Steve Thompson, 3 David Wilson, 4 Louis Deacon, 5 Steve Borthwick (captain), 6 Tom Croft, 7 Lewis Moody, 8 Jordan Crane. Replacements 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Duncan Bell, 18 Courtney Lawes, 19 James Haskell, 20 Paul Hodgson, 21 Andy Goode, 22 Ayoola Erinle.

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