Thompson to test rookies
Steve Thompson says England are looking forward to challenging the inexperienced Australian front row.
Last Updated: 11/06/10 4:00pm
Hooker Steve Thompson says the England front row have devised a plan to win the battle against their inexperienced Australian counterparts.
The Wallabies named a starting front three boasting a mere two caps after injuries forced Benn Robinson, Ben Alexander and Stephen Moore out of contention for the clash in Perth on Saturday.
The new-look trio consists of debutant loosehead prop Ben Daley alongside hooker Saia Faingaa and tighthead Salesi Ma'afu, who have one cap each.
But although Thompson believes the England unit can secure an advantage, he is not underestimating the Australian new boys.
"Caps-wise there is an imbalance but when you have inexperienced players coming in they want to make a name for themselves," he said.
"When Australians' backs are against the wall they always come out with their chests puffed up and that is exactly what I am expecting tomorrow.
"If you look at all their Super 14 franchises they all scrummage a similar way and that happened when Michael Foley went from Bath back to Australia.
"He is a great technician and he brought that northern hemisphere forward power back to Australia.
"We know how we think we can win that battle but we will have to see how it pans out."
Leicester tighthead Dan Cole will be a fresh face in the England front row, having made only five previous appearances for his country.
Thompson is certain the 23-year-old will be up to the task at the Subiaco Oval.
He added: "Dan has got world class written all over him. He is an outstanding player.
"He showed in the Premiership final just what an impact he can have at the top level. For such a young player to do that is awesome. He has been awesome for Leicester.
"He looks a lot older than he is. He is getting bigger, stronger and better and he is one of those players you are looking forward to playing with.
"I have been very impressed. He was one of the finds of the Six Nations and that includes all the teams.
"People were critical of him in the France match but for me he did nothing wrong in that first half, he scrummaged well and when he came back on in the second half he showed what he can do."