– Average score: Australia 21.36 vs 15.32 England –
Sparks should fly both on and off the field in Australia this June as the Wallabies face off with Eddie Jones’ England for bragging rights.
It is hard not to laugh at how the script has worked out for Jones, with their first tour seeing him go back to his home country to settle some scores. Then all roads continue to lead to Japan and his former job in Test rugby where England hope to push for 2019 World Cup glory.
Jones has already been the subject of a bag search by airport security in Brisbane, something he insists was “coordinated”, so even before a ball has been kicked in the series, the entertainment has begun. Throw in a Ben Te’o tug-of-war over his playing ties and we have drama.
Life will not be easy for England Down Under and they wouldn’t expect anything else but what is in their favour is that this is a Wallaby side with a few question marks hanging over it. Make no mistake, this is not the same hard-nosed squad that did so well in the World Cup.
They have lost a great number of caps in Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell and Adam Ashley-Cooper while injuries account for Kurtley Beale, Henry Speight and Joe Tomane. While Samu Kerevi and Dane Haylett-Petty aren’t short on talent, they will be lacking in experience of Test rugby.
Michael Cheika also had the dilemma of where to deploy Israel Folau, who has been excellent in recent weeks for the Waratahs in the centre position. But, with the midfield offering greater depth in his squad, it was surely always going to be the case that Folau remained at full-back.
Arguably in a tougher boat was Jones and there wouldn’t be a team announcement without controversy as he opted to leave out both Alex Goode and Jack Nowell, the former is missing from the 23 altogether. Nowell is said to have not been 100 percent since the Premiership Final but that begs the question why he is named at all ahead of the Premiership Player of the Year. Jones will hope for no early injuries.
Stopping David Pocock at the breakdown will again be critical to England’s cause but there is more than a feeling that this forward pack will be the ones causing waves. Australia will get its first look at Maro Itoje while George Kruis, Mako and Billy Vunipola have been in superb form.
Owen Farrell is another growing as a player and it was wise to name him as the starting fly-half ahead of George Ford, not just due to his kicking game but also because of Kerevi’s presence off the shoulder of Bernard Foley.
So many ingredients and subplots to start the Test series then and whatever the result in Brisbane, expect the temperature to rise heading to Melbourne as both coaches will have more to say after 80 minutes. Thus far Cheika has been cool, calm and collected despite Jones’ comments. Whatever the result though there promises to be plenty of off-field words spoken, with the antagoniser role going to Saturday’s winner, as this series is set to run and run until June 25.
|Overall Stats Australia||Overall Stats England|
|Games Played||44||Games Played||44|
|*Games Won||25||*Games Won||18|
|*Games Lost||18||*Games Lost||25|
|Games Drawn||1||Games Drawn||1|
|*Longest Losing Streak||5||*Longest Losing Streak||4|
|*Largest Points For||76||*Largest Points For||35|
|*Largest Points Against||35||*Largest Points Against||76|
|*Largest Losing Margin||-17||*Largest Losing Margin||-17|
|*Total Points For||940||*Total Points For||674|
|*Avg Points For||21.36||*Avg Points For||15.32|
|*Total Points Against||674||*Total Points Against||940|
|*Avg Points Against||15.32||*Avg Points Against||21.36|
|*Total Points Difference||266||*Total Points Difference||-266|
|*Avg Points Difference||6.05||*Avg Points Difference||-6.05|
|* = By Australia||* = By England|
|Past Ten Meetings|
|3-Oct-15||England||13||33||Australia||Twickenham London, England|
|29-Nov-14||England||26||17||Australia||Twickenham London, England|
|2-Nov-13||England||20||13||Australia||Twickenham London, England|
|17-Nov-12||England||14||20||Australia||Twickenham London, England|
|13-Nov-10||England||35||18||Australia||Twickenham London, England|
|19-Jun-10||Australia||20||21||England||Stadium Australia Sydney, Australia|
|12-Jun-10||Australia||27||17||England||Subiaco Oval Perth, Australia|
|7-Nov-09||England||09||18||Australia||Twickenham London, England|
|15-Nov-08||England||14||28||Australia||Twickenham London, England|
|6-Oct-07||Australia||10||12||England||Stade Velodrome , France|
POSSIBLE RR World Rankings outcome on Result
AUS (on 88.84 points) at home -vs- ENG (on 84.33 points)
|Possible Outcome||Rating Point
|If AUS win by 1-15 points||0.249||89.09||84.08||No|
|If AUS win by more than 15||0.373||89.21||83.96||No|
|If result is a draw||0.751||88.09||85.08||No|
|If ENG win by 1-15 points||1.751||87.09||86.08||No|
|If ENG win by more than 15||2.627||86.21||86.96||YES|
Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 James Horwill, 20 Dean Mumm, 21 Sean McMahon, 22 Nick Frisby, 23 Christian Lealiifano
England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 James Haskell, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Courtney Lawes, 21 Danny Care, 22 George Ford, 23 Jack Nowell
Date: Saturday, June 11
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 20:00 local (10:00 GMT)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant Referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Glen Jackson (New Zealand)