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Nov 29, 2014 at 2.30pm UK
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Stuart Lancaster backs Owen Farrell to return to best form

England coach Stuart Lancaster insists that he is "sure" Owen Farrell will be back to his best form having been left out of the starting lineup to face Australia.

Stuart Lancaster has insisted that out-of-form Owen Farrell will still have a big role to play for England in this weekend's Test against Australia, despite being dropped to the bench.

Billy Twelvetrees has been selected at inside-centre for the Autumn International at Twickenham, with George Ford fielded at fly-half once more.

It is the first time that Farrell has been left out of England's starting lineup since June 2012, although Lancaster has backed the 23-year-old to make an impact from the replacements' bench.

"Owen will play a different role off the bench this week - at 10 or 12," he is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. "We know we can use him in both positions.

Asked how Farrell took the news, Lancaster added: "He accepted it well. He's a great professional and he's very team focussed. He accepted that George [Ford] had played well and that he's not on top form.

"He will contribute from the bench and then go away and work hard with Saracens. I'm sure he will be back."

The Red Rose will be looking to end their November fixtures on a high following defeats against New Zealand and South Africa, and their sole victory against Samoa last time out.

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Billy Twelvetrees looks on during the England captain's run at Twickenham Stadium on November 15, 2013
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States29352791
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee16222058
Great BritainGreat Britain16181852
Today's Olympic highlights header

Friday's key events

· Great Britain's women aim to secure their place on the podium as they face India in the bronze medal match (2.30am)
· Netherlands - silver medallists five years ago - and Argentina battle for the gold medal in the women's final (11am)

· The women's gold medal will be decided as Australia and USA go head to head (3.30am)

· Lauren Price will be looking to add to Team GB's success in the ring when she takes on Nouchka Fontijn of Netherlands in the women's middleweight semi-final (6am)

· Tom Daley already has one Olympic gold to his name in Tokyo, and he begins his bid for second in the men's 10m platform. Teammate Noah Williams is also involved in the preliminary round (7am)

· Jason Kenny's reign as sprint king may be over, but Jack Carlin looked strong in his bid to succeed his compatriot. He takes on Harrie Lavreysen in his sprint semi-final (8.10am), with the final taking place later in the day (10.35am)
· The women's madison makes its Olympic debut at the velodrome as Team GB duo Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny look to add another medal to their collections (9.15am)

· Hosts Japan will look to get themselves on the podium as they face Mexico in the men's bronze medal match (10am)
· The women's champions will be crowned as both Sweden and Canada aim to win Olympic gold for the very first time (1pm)

· The men's 5000m final includes Great Britain's Andrew Butchart, but most eyes will be on Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei (1pm)
· Team GB's Jodie Williams will hope to get on the podium in the women's 400m final, but defending champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo is favourite for gold while Stephenie Ann McPherson should challenge and Allyson Felix is bidding to become the most decorated female track and field athlete of all time (1.35pm)
· Netherlands' Sifan Hassan takes on leg two of her ambitious attempt at a Tokyo treble in a women's 1500m final which also includes Great Britain's Laura Muir and Faith Kipyegon of Kenya (1.50pm)
· A star-studded women's 4x100m relay final will see a Team GB quartet including Dina Asher-Smith look to upset defending champions USA and favourites Jamaica, who boast Elaine Thompson-Herah as she goes for her third gold of the Games (2.30pm)
· Great Britain and Jamaica will also be going for gold in the men's 4x100m relay final, and their medal hopes have been boosted by USA's failure to qualify (2.50pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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