Wallabies set for Eddie Jones’ England as SCG confirm first rugby test in 36 years
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Wallabies manager Dave Rennie has said he won’t be playing mind games with Eddie Jones in this year’s Test series with England.
Wallabies manager Dave Rennie wonders if under-pressure England manager Eddie Jones could revamp his side’s style at July’s Test series in Australia.
Rennie insists he is not focusing on the inevitable mind games employed by the former Wallabies mentor, who was backed until next year’s World Cup despite the disappointing record England 2-3 Six Nations.
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper won the John Eales Medal for a record fourth time after a standout 2021 season.
But throwing a tactical change from Jones, he managed to throw his own curveball while addressing the media at the end of a three-day Wallabies camp on the Gold Coast on Tuesday.
“He’s probably the most experienced international coach in the world, isn’t he,” Rennie said.
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“A smart man, a team that has a lot of resources; it will be interesting to see if they change the way they play.
“You should ask Eddie [about the mind games]but that’s not a big part of my goal.”
But could England revamp their game for the drier, faster pitches they are likely to face in Perth, Brisbane and the SCG in July?
“It’s not a huge amount of time to make a difference,” Rennie said.
“I’m not sure, maybe they have a plan to play a certain style at the World Cup and this is their chance to kick it off.”
The SCG final will be the site’s first rugby test match since 1986, and Sydney’s first since 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
They will also meet in Perth for the first time in 10 years and in Brisbane, where England remain the last nation to beat Australia at their home ground of Suncorp Stadium, in 2016.
In matches announced on Tuesday, the Wallaroos will play two Tests in Queensland next month ahead of the World Cup in New Zealand – against Fijiana in a double-header with the Queensland Reds on May 6, then Japan on the Gold Coast a week later.
Rennie can choose three non-Australian players and he can also bring in Kurtley Beale, who will return from France for the Waratahs next season.
And he added that, like last year, players from outside that 40-man squad could still find a place in the squad in Perth on July 2.
Australia have lost eight consecutive Tests to England and were humbled on their last trip here in 2016 under Michael Cheika.
“It didn’t work out well for us last time out,” captain Michael Hooper said.
“We have to change history and we have a big opportunity here.”
Wallabies versus England events:
*Saturday 2 July at Optus Stadium, Perth
* Saturday 9 July at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
* Saturday 16 July at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Wallaroos Australia women’s team schedule:
* v Fijiana, Friday 6 May at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
* against Japan, Tuesday May 10 at Bond University, Gold Coast.