How England became imperious against Australia

‘Australia have become the team who we do a job on’: Former and current players explain how England have become imperious against Wallabies under Eddie Jones

  • England are on a record run of success in the history of matches with Australia
  • Sportsmail examines the causes of this dramatic shift in the balance of power 
  • ‘Eddie changed our attitude when he came in,’ said former player James Haskell
  • ‘Eddie has an understanding of the Australian psyche’ added Chris Robshaw

England have won their last seven Tests against Australia — a record run of success in the history of matches between the two countries. 

Here, Sportsmail examines the causes of this dramatic shift in the balance of power since Eddie Jones took charge, with insight from two former England players and one member of the current squad…

England have won a record seven consecutive Tests against Australia under Eddie Jones

England’s 2019 World Cup quarter-final win was one of many recent wins over the Wallabies

JAMES HASKELL 

James Haskell said Jones made him feel ’empowered’ before a tour against Australia

One of the things Eddie said was that all the England players were too apologetic. He’d say: ‘Everyone thinks you are arrogant but it is quite the opposite — you don’t back yourselves and believe in yourselves enough.’

He wanted to fill us with confidence so we had a bit of that Australian swagger about us.

Eddie changed our attitude when he came in. We had always been over-respectful, but we ended up being more like an Australian side, with bravado.

We felt it was OK to say we were going to go after teams — we’re going to be physical, we’re coming to get these guys. As players, we’d love that. Eddie set the tone.

He dropped in the stuff about Bodyline before that Australia tour and a lot of guys didn’t know what he was talking about. He showed us videos and said: ‘This is what they did against Australia — they just bowled at the bloke, trying to hurt them. That is what we are going to do.’

I felt empowered. I felt like it was another difficult Southern Hemisphere tour, but we had a different approach, mindset. I loved it. Eddie also got the balance right because we did short, sharp training sessions and we had a lot of fun on that tour.

He has done that since, and Australia have become the team who we do a job on. But it would be dangerous for England to think too much about how many times in a row they have beaten Australia. You don’t get an award for doing that. As soon as that whistle goes, nothing that’s gone before matters.

CHRIS ROBSHAW 

https://sportstoft.com/soccer/it-wasnt-directed-at-anyone-harry-maguire-denies-aiming-england-goal-celebration-at-critics/

‘Eddie has an understanding of the Australian psyche,’ said former captain Chris Robshaw

Eddie has an understanding of the Australian psyche and the way they want to play. He probably knows their players better than other internationals. He also has knowledge of their coaching staff and how they like to go about things. Of course, Eddie is Australian and I think the players know how much this rivalry means to him because of his heritage.

But as players, you don’t really know about the records. I’m not sure a lot of the squad will realise England haven’t lost to Australia in the last seven games.

I remember when we went on tour down there in 2016 and won the series 3-0. We were having quite a tough training session. Eddie had spoken so much about Israel Folau and the threat he was, then someone kicked the ball badly to the player who was acting as Folau and he ran in.

Eddie just lost it and in his Australian twang he was shouting: ‘If you kick to him like that, he will destroy you.’ It really hit home to us how fired up he was.

You always say you want to win a series or a campaign, but before that tour Eddie just wrote on a board ‘3-0’. That was the first time I’d seen him do that, but he repeated it every campaign and I’m sure it will be the same mindset this autumn: 3-0.

MARO ITOJE

Maro Itoje: ‘They are moving in the right direction and we need to have our heads screwed on’

We’ve won the last seven but they’ve all been tough games. Australia keep on coming at you. Fortunately, we’ve been mentally in the right place to play these games. We need that again as they are a better team now. They are moving in the right direction and we need to have our heads screwed on.

The team that dwells on previous results the most will suffer during the game.

If we look at past games thinking, ‘We’ll win this game’, then we’ll be in trouble. We have to see this as a fresh opportunity and attack it — and have that mindset to go after them.

England-Australia is a massive rivalry, whether it’s cricket, rugby or drinking beer! It’s always intense and the fans let you know about it. This is a massive game for us and we’re looking forward to it.




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