Coach Eddie Jones has made three changes in personnel and two positional switches in pursuit of a semi-final against either New Zealand or Ireland.
Mako Vunipola is restored at loosehead prop after successfully making his latest comeback from a hamstring injury against Argentina. England’s last outing after their Pool C finale against France was cancelled due to stormy weather.
Vunipola’s return means Joe Marler drops to the bench where he joins second row George Kruis, who has lost his place in the starting XV to Courtney Lawes.
Despite Ford being one of the form players of the competition to date, Jones has seen fit to revert to playing Farrell at fly-half – a move which didn’t bear considerable fruit during this year’s Six Nations Championship.
“Australia are a clever team, they will have some specific attacking strategies to play against us so we need to have a great situational awareness,” said Jones.
“We need to defend with brutality and when we have the ball we need play on top of them.”
Billy Vunipola has recovered from the ankle injury sustained against Argentina nearly two weeks ago after proving his fitness in training on Wednesday, enabling him to continue at number eight.
Jonny May, who averages a try every two games, wins his 50th cap on the left wing six years after making his debut against Argentina.
“It’s a great achievement and an honour for Jonny and his family. Everyone in the team is really pleased for him,” Jones said.
England’s quarterfinal with Australia kicks off at 4:15PM JST on Friday afternoon from Oita.
England: Elliot Daly, Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Manu Tuilagi, Jonny May, Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs, Billy Vunipola, Sam Underhill, Tom Curry, Courtney Lawes, Maro Itoje, Kyle Sinckler, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola. Reserves: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Joe Marler, Dan Cole, George Kruis, Lewis Ludlam, Willi Heinz, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph.