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Australia captain Stephen Moore will not be distracted by talk of England

Published 25/11/2016

Stephen Moore is only focused on Australia's game with Ireland
Stephen Moore is only focused on Australia's game with Ireland

Australia are determined not let England boss Eddie Jones' early broadsides derail Saturday's Test clash with Ireland in Dublin.

England head coach Jones branded Argentina "probably the second best team in the Rugby Championship" ahead of facing the Pumas at Twickenham this weekend.

That has been interpreted as Australian Jones' first barb against his compatriot Wallabies, who face England at Twickenham on December 3.

But Australia captain Stephen Moore has insisted Michael Cheika's men will not disrespect Ireland by even thinking of England this week.

"I think if we started thinking about England this week then we'd come up short tomorrow," said Australia captain Moore.

"So we haven't even thought about that game yet.

"It's disrespectful to the Irish team to even talk about I think.

"We've got a massive Test tomorrow, we've spent the whole week preparing for that.

"And next week we'll talk about England, so I haven't given it any thought."

England whitewashed the Wallabies three-nil in Australia in June, so Michael Cheika's side will doubtless be out for revenge at Twickenham on December 3.

But first the Wallabies must take on Ireland and Moore insisted Australia need the best performance of their northern hemisphere tour to topple Saturday's hosts.

Moore believes Ireland's 40-29 victory over New Zealand in Chicago on November 5 merely serves to underline their growing prowess under Kiwi head coach Joe Schmidt.

"If you look at the way Ireland have played this month it's clearly a huge challenge for us," said Moore.

"They are playing as well as they have for a while.

"They showed that in Chicago and even last weekend, I know they didn't get the result, but they played some great rugby, the consistency was there.

"We know it's a huge challenge and we're going to have to play our best game of the tour to win."

Moore will move second on Australia's all-time Test appearances list this weekend, drawing level with Adam Ashley-Cooper and Nathan Sharpe on 166 caps.

The 33-year-old always relishes taking on Ireland having spent the first five years of his life in Galway.

Moore's father will attend Saturday's Aviva Stadium clash, with the Queensland Reds front-rower admitting he spent Wednesday catching up with his cousins in Dublin.

"It's a busier week than usual, there's a lot of people to catch up with so I did a lot of that on Wednesday," said Moore.

"Growing up I've probably not seen a lot of my cousins for most of my life so whenever I come to Dublin that's great, it was nice this week.

"With mum and dad it is a little bit extra special the week, and my dad will be in the crowd tomorrow, so that's something that means a lot to me."

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