England need to step up to beat Australia - Hartley


Dylan Hartley believes England will need to step up another level from their Grand Slam-winning Six Nations campaign in order to beat Australia in a Test series.

Hartley led Eddie Jones' men to a first Grand Slam since 2003, which was secured with a 31-21 away win over France, having been appointed captain in January.

Jones will now attempt to guide England to victory in his homeland in a three-Test series against a Wallabies side that reached the World Cup final last year.

Australia beat England 33-13 en route to the 2015 World Cup final - where they were defeated by New Zealand.

And, despite their dominance of the Six Nations, Hartley knows England will need to improve if they are to win in the southern hemisphere.

Hartley told the Rugby Football Union's website: "We progressed. Our main goal was to get better and improve over the Six Nations and to win the tournament and we did that.

"We went up in the world rankings. The next step is to play the number one and two sides in the world in New Zealand and Australia and we've got Australia.

"We need to recap the Six Nations and what made us tick there. We need to progress and we need to get better, we can't play the same standard of rugby as we did in the Six Nations. It's another step up but it's exciting.

"There would be no point me going if I didn't think we could go to Australia and win.

"If we want to be the best, we've got to beat the best and what better place to do that than against Australia in their own backyard. I'm looking forward to it and I've got a highly-motivated squad that want to do that as well."

The first Test of the series takes place at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on June 11.