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Elsom: We've learned lessons

Australia captain Rocky Elsom admitted the Wallabies' defeat to England in the summer gave them a kick up the backside.

Elsom became only the second Australian captain to preside over a Test defeat to England on home soil when Martin Johnson's men edged a 21-20 result in Sydney. The Wallabies went on to finish second in the Tri-Nations and they will arrive at Twickenham Saturday on the back of victories over New Zealand in Hong Kong and Wales in Cardiff.

"When you are winning matches you try and see everything as it is and not get carried away with the win but with a loss you look over everything," said Elsom.

"That loss and the following week against Ireland didn't go perfectly well and that helped us along a hell of a lot. We have been fortunate enough to get a lot out of our losses. In saying that, you would prefer not to have them!

"Certain guys have really improved (since that defeat to England). Our structures have improved a hell of a lot, which is a good sign for us.

"This game is a new contest so we are not given anything just because guys have improved or we know our game plan a bit better but that has been a pleasing thing from this time last year."

Elsom views Saturday's showdown as a vital opportunity for his side to take another major step on the road towards next year's Rugby World Cup.

The last time Australia won three Tests on the bounce against Tri-Nations or Six Nations opposition was back in the summer of 2009, when they beat Italy twice and then France.

"The area of consistency has been a problem for us, putting wins together. We had some good performances at the back end of the Tri-Nations but wins are important," he added.

"We are not used to the conditions here and so this will be a good indicator of how the unit is developing."


From Belfast Telegraph