Jones wary of 'wounded' Australia


Eddie Jones is expecting a backlash from "wounded animal" Australia in the second Test but is backing his England side to raise their game as they go in search of a first series victory Down Under.

England recovered from an early Wallabies onslaught to win the opening game of the series 39-28 at Suncorp Stadium last weekend, ending their wait for an elusive maiden victory in Brisbane.

Another win at AAMI Park will wrap up an historic series triumph for the Six Nations Grand Slam winners, but England head coach Jones knows Australia will be determined to prove a point.

He said: "It's a big game, it's one of those where they are desperate to win, we are desperate to win. It's a game where players either grow or shrink.

"It's all about concentration and sticking to our game. We are confident but are respectful that Australia is a wounded animal and will come hard at us. We've had a good preparation and are in a good spot to play well."

While there was plenty to admire about the manner of England's win last Saturday, Jones is demanding more from his team in Melbourne.

He added: "I know we are going to step up, I know this team is going to improve and Saturday is an opportunity for us to get better.

"We weren't satisfied with last weekend's performance and we know there's lots to improve on, particularly aspects of our defence and breakdown work, which we're confident we've remedied.

"We've had a fantastic week's training. The intensity of training has been there and we know we have to get that first 20 minutes right, which we didn't quite do last week."

Australia coach Michael Cheika said his side will be driven by the hurt of the defeat as they attempt to set up a series decider in Sydney a week on Saturday.

"Of course we want to bounce back," he said. "It hurts losing. It hurts a lot. There's no brushing that away and that pain still sits inside you. That's usually what drives you.

Cheika added: "I think I've said it many times before... there's no need to feel pressure in this game because there's real serious things going on out there and obviously we want to win,

"We've got the physical part, the accuracy of our play, our kicking, all that stuff and then we're fully committed to the game and everyone wants to enjoy us playing that way, and that's what we want to do."

Cheika, who opted to sit in when England met referee Craig Joubert ahead of the game, has replaced props Scott Sio and Greg Holmes with James Slipper and Sekope Kefu.

Sean McMahon gets the nod to replace the injured David Pocock, while Sam Carter comes in for dropped lock Rob Simmons. Ben McCalman and Dean Munn have been named as back-row replacements.

George Ford returns at fly-half in the England side, with Owen Farrell switching to inside-centre at the expense of Luther Burrell, and Jack Nowell is preferred to Marland Yarde on the wing.