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England v Australia - Talking Points

England bring down the curtain on their autumn schedule when Australia visit Twickenham on Saturday.

Here, Press Association Sport examines five talking points heading into the match.


The eagerly awaited head-to-head between Eddie Jones and Michael Cheika failed to ignite during the summer tour Down Under, with England's head coach running rings around his former Randwick team-mate and the Australian media while his rival adopted a dignified silence that ultimately backfired. It has been a different story this week, however, with the two exchanging blows with a personal edge ahead of a match neither dare lose.


The series whitewash in June was a chastening experience for Cheika, who was outmanoeuvred verbally and tactically by the more experienced Jones, but he has seized the initiative this week by claiming Jones has damaged his legacy in his homeland and operates with a chip on his shoulder. By the time England left Sydney five months ago, Cheika resembled a punchbag, with New Zealand coach Steve Hansen also taking aim, but the fiery son of Lebanese migrants will not be bullied this time.

14 AND 0?

The accolades are piling up for Jones, whose England's tenure has been an unqualified success so far. Victory at Twickenham on Saturday would deliver a 14th consecutive Test triumph, equalling the national record set by Sir Clive Woodward's World Cup winners in 2002-03 and complete an unblemished calendar year of 13 wins for the first time since 1992. It would also extend England's mastery of the Wallabies to four matches in a row, with New Zealand the only major scalp outstanding from Jones' collection.


A 27-14 victory over Argentina came at a heavy cost, with Billy Vunipola suffering knee ligament damage that has placed him in jeopardy of missing the entire RBS 6 Nations. Of all the players to have blossomed under Jones, it is the big Saracens number eight and world player of the year nominee who has proved the most influential. Into the breach steps Nathan Hughes, the closest to a like-for-like replacement that England have, and the task of generating ball-carrying momentum falls to the Fiji-born back row.


After being demolished by England, the Wallabies rebuilt with a second-placed finish in the Rugby Championship and were on course for a successful grand slam tour of Europe until last Saturday's narrow defeat by Ireland. Despite the result in Dublin, they looked a dangerous team and they will provide the biggest challenge of the Jones era to date. Jones' view is that they are benefiting from abandoning their "obsession" with emulating the All Blacks' style of attack.


From Belfast Telegraph