Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Rugby

Australia v England talking points

Published 24/06/2016

Teimana Harrison is the only change for England
Teimana Harrison is the only change for England

England are hoping to whitewash Australia when the rivals collide in the final Test at Allianz Stadium on Saturday. Here Press Association Sport examines five talking points heading into the match.


Having indicated he would make changes due to player fatigue, Jones has made only one injury-enforced adjustment by bringing in Teimana Harrison for James Haskell. A combination of gut feeling and training data have persuaded the Australian that despite a season spanning over a year due to the World Cup and its build-up, there is enough fuel in the tank for one last push. Jones' judgement has proved sound on just about every count thus far, but there were some tired bodies at AAMI Park on Saturday and this selection is another test of his intuition.


Haskell has been the player of the series and his absence de-powers England's back row. Into the void steps rugged New Zealand-born flanker Harrison, who has emerged during a breakthrough season at Northampton. The 23-year-old is strong over the ball and an effective carrier, impressing Jones to the point that he has overtaken Jack Clifford, who was seemingly heir apparent to England's back row but must continue to sit on the bench.


Australia coach Michael Cheika has described England as "dull" and believes that now they have won the series, they might play with greater ambition. "Eddie and me play different footy. We are not set up to play kick and chase footy. We play running rugby," he said. In response, a defiant Jones has declared his tourists play "winning rugby". The Wallabies have undoubtedly displayed greater attacking intent across the first two Tests and it was only England's remarkable resilience in defence that kept them at bay in Melbourne.


While that intent has yet to pay off, Cheika refuses to abandon the philosophy that he believes is inseparable from the Wallabies, saying: "speaking to a lot of our supporters, they want to see us keep playing footy". Australia reached the World Cup final last autumn using that brand of rugby and it has served them well, but Cheika is sure to insist that at Allianz Stadium routine penalties are sent between the posts and not into touch.


Jones has noted that while the series has been sealed with a match to spare, England have been inconsistent throughout with sizeable swings in attack, defence and set-piece. The only constants apart from result are the determination and cussedness that have forced Australia's downfall and Jones has demanded the first complete, 80-minute performance of his reign.

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph