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Australia Vs. England
2016 Australia v England, 12 June, 2016
|England 39 defeated Australia 28|
|Referee: R Poite|
|Touch judges: C Joubert & G Jackson|
England proved too strong for Australia in the first Test at Brisbane, despite the Wallabies scoring four tries to three the English made up an 11-point margin by converting all of their tries and sinking six penalty goals.
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» Watch the full highlights
After months of verbal jousting and anticipation, Michael Cheika’s Wallabies will meet Eddie Jones’ England on the turf of Suncorp Stadium, kicking off the three game series. Join The Roar for all the thrilling live action and highlights from 8pm (AEST).
The English will be searching for revenge against a Wallabies side that knocked them out of their own World Cup, handing them a 33-13 loss to send them packing from the Pool stages just last year.
This will be the first ever three-Test series played in Australia between the old enemies in 107 years, having played 44 games dating all the way back to 1909.
Despite holding a 25 to 18 win-loss record (with one draw) against England, the Wallabies have been in lean form recently, losing four of the past six games to the Red Roses.
Since the aforementioned game at Twickenham though, both sides have gone through periods of change, England in particular stripping down their coaching staff and ringing the changes on and off the field.
England have bounced back sensationally since their last meeting with the green and gold, with former Australian coach Eddie Jones leading the charge through an undefeated Six Nations tournament earlier in the year.
“We have a young squad with an average age of 24 so we are still developing and improving.” Jones said of his rejuvenated side. “It’ll be a great challenge for us and one we’re looking forward to meeting head on.”
Jones’ adversary, Michaela Cheika, has been forced to pull together a new look Wallabies line up for the first Test, mixing some old hats with a handful of debutants.
“We have a good mix of new blood and players who have been connected to the group for some time,” said Cheika. “The energy and enjoyment within the group has been excellent.”
The Brumbies Rory Arnold, Western Force flyer Dane Haylett-Petty and Queensland Red Samu Kerevi will make their Wallaby debuts in the run on 15, starting at second row, wing and inside centre respectively.
Fellow debutant Nick Frisby will slot into the reserves bench, with Nick Phipps at scrum half to start the game.
Captain Stephen Moore will also be playing in his 103rd Test, surpassing Matt Giteau and Stephen Larkham as the fourth most capped Wallaby of all time.
For England, Jones has sensationally dropped fly half George Ford to the bench in place of 24-year old Owen Farrell.
Ford was hit hard by the British media after an average performance against the Welsh two weeks ago, slotting just one from seven shots on goal in England’s 14-point win.
Despite being initially passed on by Jones for the touring party, Luther Burrell will start alongside Farrell at inside centre after getting the late call up.
England have won just three times in Australia in their long history with the Wallabies, the last of those coming six years ago, by just a single point in a 21-20 thriller, so the home ground advantage can’t be stressed enough.
Eddie Jones’ men will no doubt find the conditions, home crowd and rabid Aussie line up a tough ask to contend with, but their recent revival since the World Cup under Jones means anything is possible as the English find themselves in the middle of their best form in years.
Although the Australians are sporting some fresh faces, they’ve been in top form throughout the Super Rugby competition and have a sold-out Suncorp Stadium on their side.
It’s going to be a tight one, but the Wallabies should edge the Red Roses out by a few points.
Australia to win by 5
Can the Wallabies kick off their international season with a big win against the old enemy? Or will Eddie Jones return home with a blistering victory on the road? Catch all the live highlights and international action on The Roar from 8pm (AEST).