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England ready for Wallabies blitz in Test

3 minute read

England rugby captain Courtney Lawes says his team is expecting the Wallabies to try anything to break an eight-game losing streak against the tourists.

MICHAEL HOOPER. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Captain Courtney Lawes is expecting the Wallabies to "throw the kitchen sink" at his side in a desperation to end an eight-Test losing streak against England in Perth.

Australia's last victory over their old foe came at the 2015 World Cup while England embarrassed the Wallabies on home turf in 2016 with a three-Test whitewash.

Only one of those eight losses has been on current coach Dave Rennie's watch, falling 32-15 at Twickenham last year, with Lawes expecting the Wallabies to have evolved.

"I certainly think, especially from the autumn, they'll play very differently to that," said flanker Lawes, who has been retained as skipper ahead of superstar Owen Farrell who is making his return from injury.

"I know that they didn't think they fired any shots in that game and I'd be surprised if they didn't throw the kitchen sink at us so we're very ready for all scenarios."

He said that his team couldn't rest on previous results and England wouldn't underestimate Australia's appetite for a win at home.

"Regardless of whether we won three-nil last time or not this is a completely different competition so we can't take anything for granted," the 93-Test veteran said.

"Don't get me wrong, we're confident going into the game, we've got a great team and we've had a very good training week so we're not looking for anything less than a win, but we're expecting a very tough game."

The Wallabies have signalled their intent to take on England up front, with the bulk of their forwards coming from the Brumbies, who boast the best set-piece among Australian Super Rugby teams.

They have however included two uncapped players in lock Cadeyrn Nevill and hooker Dave Porecki, who Lawes felt his team could target.

"We're going look to exert pressure in a number of different ways, obviously line-out is big one for us," Lawes said.

The Wallabies arrived into Perth late on Thursday night from their base on the Queensland Sunshine Coast.

Australian skipper Michael Hooper insisted they weren't "hiding away" but felt the facilities there allowed his team to best prepare, with a new trophy called the Ella-Mobbs Cup up for grabs,

Only four Wallabies players who took part in the 2016 series remain and Hooper, who started at flanker in all three games, felt much had changed.

He said the current selection was a mix of "athleticism and brutality" able to deliver on the way they wanted to play.

"We're a different team in terms of personnel and everything," Hooper said.

"We're very different and we play a different style than we did.

"We're a year further into our development and we made some good shifts last year."

"It's not a reinvention of the wheel but Dave (Rennie) and his crew and us as players are setting a trajectory of where we want this team to go on so we've got to deliver that.

"We've got a great opportunity to do that against England."

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