Eddie Jones has challenged his record-breaking England team to complete a 3-0 whitewash of Australia following their series-clinching 23-7 victory in the second Test in Melbourne.
Jones, in charge of the first English squad to win a major series in the southern hemisphere, said he was now “looking forward” to inflicting even more pain on the Wallabies in Sydney next Saturday.
Jones’s ultimate objective is to establish England as the world’s best side and he has no wish to ease up on Australia despite having taken an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the series.
“We’re looking forward to winning the series 3-0,” Jones said. “We came here to win the series 3-0 and that’s what we want to do on Saturday. We want to be the best team in the world. If the All Blacks were in this situation now, what would they be thinking? They’d be thinking 3-0. If we want to be the best team in the world, we have to think 3-0.
“We want these guys to be heroes for English rugby. Young kids will be sitting at home and rather than wanting to be Dele Alli or Harry Kane they might want to be Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Owen Farrell or George Ford.”
It emerged afterwards that England had themselves been inspired by a poem read out to the squad by a member of their coaching staff. The defence coach Paul Gustard challenged his players to raise their game to another level and used The Guy in the Glass by Dale Wimbrow to underline his point.
“This was their opportunity to make history, to do something different, to be special,” Gustard said. “If they look at themselves at the end of the day can they say they emptied themselves out? I think today they did.”
The central thrust of the poem – “The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life / Is the one staring back from the glass” – certainly seemed to strike a chord with Chris Robshaw, the former England captain who led the team during their disappointing World Cup campaign on home soil last autumn. Subsequently he has helped to England win a Six Nations grand slam and was named man of the match after his country had added the Cook Cup to their growing haul under Jones.
“It’s been quite a rollercoaster,” Robshaw said. “It was tough [late last year] but this series wasn’t about the World Cup, that has been and gone.”
Jones, meanwhile, said his side had used “rope-a-dope” tactics to wrap up the series, defending stoutly and waiting for Australia to punch themselves out prior to Farrell’s match-clinching late try. “Without trying to be too smart we thought we’d have to defend a lot in this game,” the head coach said. “We had to play rope-a-dope today. You have to be tactically flexible in Test rugby.”
Michael Cheika admitted Australia had been outwitted in both Tests. The head coach said: “You have to pay credit to England. In both games they played very smart and played in the right areas. I wouldn’t say I was extremely pleased with the officiating but I don’t want it to be an excuse. We’re just going to have to suck it up and use the scars later on.”
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