Rugby Union betting: Back Australia to prove too strong for young England team in 1st Test
June 09, 2016
After their Six Nations Grand Slam success, England venture down under for a real test of the progress made under their Australian coach Eddie Jones with a three Test series in his homeland.
The first Test of the series takes place on Saturday with Jones admitting that winning in Brisbane is crucial to hopes of winning the series.
The omens aren’t terribly promising for England. They have never won a series in Australia, although they did win one Test in Sydney during the last tour in 2010. That’s one of only three wins they have ever managed against the Wallabies on their home soil. England has yet to beat Australia in four attempts in Brisbane.
England warmed up for the tour with a 27-13 victory over Wales at Twickenham, where they outscored the visitors by five tries to one despite missing their Saracens players who were busy winning domestic and European silverware.
Jones, who coached Australia to the 2003 World Cup final where they lost to England (one of the aforementioned three victories), faces a Wallabies side that has former Randwick team-mate Michael Cheika at the helm.
Australia were losing finalists at World Cup 2015, effectively eliminating England at the group stage with a comprehensive 33-13 victory at Twickenham in the process. England’s team on Saturday is likely to feature barely a handful of starters from that game.
It’s a sign of how far England have come under Jones in so short a time that they go to Australia genuinely believing that they can avenge that defeat. England have already gained some measure of revenge over Wales for their other World Cup loss by beating them in the Six Nations, but they will be under no illusions that winning against the Wallabies in Australia is another matter.
There were 10 uncapped players named in Cheika’s 39-man squad for the series, including 23 of those who were on World Cup duty last year, but Will Genia, Matt Giteau, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Drew Mitchell are all unavailable for the Wallabies.
This is likely to be close, but England’s young team go into this tour on the back of a long season and Australia’s greater freshness, experience and home advantage could be decisive.