Aussie-born England coach Eddie Jones is expecting the Wallabies to be ravenous for victory in this weekend’s Test match.
Aussie-born England coach Eddie Jones says the Wallabies’ “inferiority complex” will make them extra hungry for victory when the sides meet for a “season-defining” Test match at Twickenham on Sunday morning (AEDT).
Scotland brought the Wallabies’ five-match winning streak to a grinding halt in controversial circumstances on Monday morning, and Jones says he’s expecting the spurned Aussies to come back firing in what he believes is the most important game on the Australian rugby calendar.
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“This is a game they want to win. (Australia) has a bit of an inferiority complex against the English,” said Jones, who coached the Wallabies from 2001-05.
“Our country started as convicts being sent down there, so we have always looked up and looked at England as the mother country.
“We were the smaller country of England, so when we played them in sport it was an opportunity to prove we were not the smaller country.
“It’s probably hard for the English to understand what an important game this is for Australia. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Olympics, Test cricket, rugby league … this is the game that defines a season.”
Jones has led England to seven-straight wins against his old side but is expecting the Wallabies’ strong recent form will make for a tightly fought contest.
“They’re playing some really good rugby under Dave Rennie,” Jones said.
“A number of the staff who worked with me (at the Wallabies) are on his staff, so they’ll be very well prepared.
“We’re looking forward to this very, very tough contest.
“As much as they’d have liked to win (against Scotland) at Murrayfield on Sunday, this is the game they’ve targeted. This is the game they want.
“We understand they won’t go away. We understand we will have to be in the game for every minute of the game.”
Sale teammates Raffi Quirke and Bevan Rodd will make their Test debuts for England from the bench, while the side welcomes back captain Owen Farrell, who is starting at inside centre.
Farrell missed England’s huge win over Tonga last week after returning a false positive Covid-19 test.
Elsewhere, veteran centre Manu Tualagi has been named on the wing for just the second time in his Test career.
Jones assured reporters that he was ready for the positional change.
“We believe that’s the best backline for this game,” Jones said.
“I’ve seen (Tualagi) play on the wing. He can handle 12, 11, 13 or 14, probably not 15, but he can handle all those positions with aplomb. He’s in the best condition of his career.”
Australia is coming to grips with changes of its own — concussion concerns have ruled big men Taniela Tupou and Allan Alaalatoa out of the squad, paving the way for James Slipper to start in the frontrow.