Melbourne – Eddie Jones says England are desperate and motivated to create history and finish off the Wallabies in the second Test in Melbourne on Saturday.
The Six Nations champions are poised to clinch their first series triumph in Australia after upsetting Michael Cheika’s second-ranked Australians 39-28 in the opening Test in Brisbane last week.
The tourists, who fought back from 10-0 down, have made two changes as Jones, England’s first foreign coach, looks to fix deficiencies he detected in the Brisbane win.
George Ford will start at fly-half with Owen Farrell at inside centre, while winger Jack Nowell has been promoted for his work-rate to keep the marauding Wallabies star fullback Israel Folau in check.
“We’ve had a fantastic week’s preparation, the intensity at training has been there,” Jones said on Friday.
“The first 20 minutes is going to be instrumental in the game, and we’ve got to make sure we get that first 20 minutes right, which we didn’t get last week.
“Our defence intensity has got to be high because Australia is going to be running from everywhere.”
Australian Jones is looking to have answers if Australia again attempt to move the ball out wide and nullify the attacking runs of Folau on the fringes.
“I don’t think there is any secret about how Australia are going to play and I think to have a high work-rate winger like Jack Nowell this week is going to be an advantage for us,” Jones said.
Nowell said the team were planning to tighten their defence after conceding four tries in Brisbane.
“This week we’ve spoken a lot about being desperate again, doing anything to get the win, being a bit brutal when we’re out there,” Nowell told reporters.
“We want to be physical like we were last week, but obviously tighten up our D (defence) a bit as well.”
Jones, who coached the Wallabies to the 2003 World Cup final where they lost in extra-time to England, is confident his team will again master Australia.
“I know we’re going to step up. I know this team is going to get better and Saturday’s an opportunity for us to get better,” he said.
“By picking young players I am showing my absolute faith that I’ve got in them to do the job for England. We’re desperate to play well for England.
“We have the chance to create history, being the first (England) side to win a series in Australia is a great motivation because if you do that you’re on the walls of Twickenham forever and that’s what this team wants to be.”
Jones said he was expecting the Wallabies to hit back hard after Brisbane, their first international since losing to the All Blacks in the World Cup final eight months ago in London.
“We know the job isn’t done. We came here to win a Test series and that’s what we intend to do,” he said. “Australia will try and throw everything at us on Saturday and we’ll be ready for the challenge.”
England are leading the series and also psychologically with Cheika replacing both starting props, including dropping loose head front-rower Scott Sio. He is also without injured star breakdown poacher David Pocock.
“It’s interesting that they have discarded Scott Sio,” Jones said.
“He was one of the best young props at (last year’s) World Cup, everyone was talking about him and he obviously had a difficult first Test against Dan Cole, so Sio must be very disappointed.
“He’s a good young player, I’m sure he’ll bounce back.”