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Coach Jones urges England to grasp opportunity against Wallabies

Friday, 10 June 2016

England's captain Dylan Hartley (R), seen with teammates during the captain's run in Brisbane on June 10, 2016, on the eve of their first Test match against the Australian Wallabies
England’s captain Dylan Hartley (R), seen with teammates during the captain’s run in Brisbane on June 10, 2016, on the eve of their first Test match against the Australian Wallabies

Coach Eddie Jones says he wants England to break their mould and play a different style of rugby to upset Australia and make a statement in Saturday’s Test series opener.

England have a poor record in Australia, winning only three of their 17 internationals, and Jones said to improve that they must change their mindset and gameplan to get the important first win in the three-Test series.

Jones, England’s first overseas coach, guided his new side to a first Grand Slam title in 13 years earlier this season, but the series against the world’s second ranked side is his toughest challenge to date.

“We had some ideas on how we’ll play Australia. We looked at various sorts of permutations and we’ve come up with a team as the best way we think we can beat Australia,” he told reporters in Brisbane on Friday.

“The whole thing is we’ve got to do something different here. We can’t do what’s been done for previous English teams — we’ve got to have a different mindset.

“We’ve got to have a different way of how we play the game against Australia. To change history, we’ve got that opportunity on Saturday night.”

Jones, who coached Australia to the 2003 World Cup final where they lost to England, said beating the Wallabies in their own backyard would make the rugby world sit up and take notice.

“It would be really massive. It would make everyone in the world stand up and say ‘Well maybe England are doing something different now’,” Jones said.

“The game’s going to go to a different level on Saturday night. Australia is going to be absolutely rampant.

“This is the first Test they’ve played with expectations on them and knowing Cheik (Wallabies coach Michael Cheika), we know what their team is going to come out and do — we know they’re going to be absolutely breathing fire.”

– Aggressive tactics –

He reiterated that England would play a confrontational “Bodyline” brand of rugby in a bid to upset Australia.

England’s cricketers managed to beat a Don Bradman-inspired Australia in the famous 1932-33 “Bodyline” Ashes cricket series by using aggressive tactics, something Jones hopes to emulate.

“Some of our players will grow, but there could be one or two that shrink. Every good English side I’ve seen whether it be cricket or in rugby have come out and wanted to smash people,” he said.

“Saturday night’s a big test for us. Australia are by far the best team we will have played and we’ll find out where we’re at.”

Scrum coach Neal Hatley said while Australia had improved their previously-maligned scrum markedly under former Argentine Mario Ledesma, he was confident England would assert their authority over the Wallabies pack.

“They’ve improved massively under Ledesma, he’s a quality coach and the Australian scrum has come on in leaps and bounds, so it’s going to be a tough contest,” Hatley told reporters.

“But we’ve got people like Dan Cole who are top quality scrummagers as well, so I expect it to be unbelievably attritional there.”

Jones, who faces his former Randwick club team-mate and friend Cheika in a battle of wits and tactics, added that it was vital to win the opening match of a series and gain a psychological edge.

“My experience is that when you play a side three times you have an evolution of the game,” he said.

“The games change, the teams change. After the first Test one side leads 1-0 and the other team is trailing, so it’s a completely different approach.”

The Wallabies have never lost in four encounters against England in Brisbane.

Source  by: AFP

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