Thursday 29 June 2017

Rocky's out for revenge

Australia captain Rocky Elsom admitted the Wallabies' defeat to England in the summer gave them a kick up the backside.

Elsom became only the second Australian captain to preside over a Test defeat to England on home soil when Martin Johnson's men edged a 21-20 result in Sydney. The Wallabies went on to finish second in the Tri Nations and they will arrive at Twickenham today on the back of victories over New Zealand in Hong Kong and Wales in Cardiff.

England flanker Tom Croft rates Australia as the team to beat in world rugby -- which is some progress from 12 months ago when they drew with Ireland in Dublin and lost to Scotland at Murrayfield.

"When you are winning matches you try and see everything as it is and not get carried away with the win but with a loss you look over everything," said Elsom.

"That loss and the following week against Ireland didn't go perfectly well and that helped us a lot. We have been fortunate enough to get a lot out of our losses. In saying that, you would prefer not to have them!"

Elsom views today as an opportunity for his side to take another major step on the road towards next year's World Cup.The last time Australia won three Tests on the bounce against Tri Nations or Six Nations opposition was back in the summer of 2009, when they beat Italy twice and then France.

England -- B Foden; C Ashton, M Tindall , S Hape , M Cueto; T Flood, B Youngs; A Sheridan, D Hartley, D Cole, C Lawes, T Palmer, T Croft, L Moody (capt), N Easter. Reps: S Thompson, D Wilson, S Shaw, H Fourie, D Care, C Hodgson, D Armitage.

Australia -- K Beale; J O'Connor, A Ashley-Cooper, M Giteau, D Mitchell; Q Cooper, W Genia; B Robinson, S Moore, B Alexander, M Chisholm, N Sharpe, R Elsom (capt), D Pocock, B McCalman.

Reps: H Edmonds, J Slipper, D Mumm, R Brown, L Burgess, B Barnes, L Turner.

Ref -- C Joubert (South Africa).

England v Australia,

Live, Sky Sports 1, 2.30

Irish Independent

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