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England vs Australia: Former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says Australians always outgrow our weight

MICHAEL CHEIKA: I’m friends with Eddie Jones, which makes the rivalry between England and Australia even more fun. The Wallabies haven’t had much success at Twickenham recently … but we always get over our weight.

  • Twickenham is a great place to play, every time it’s a deathmatch
  • England have a large number of players and the Premiership is leveling up
  • Eddie Jones and Dave Rennie are at different ends of their coaching careers.
  • England face the Wallabies in the fall series at Twickenham tomorrow


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No matter what the sport is, the rivalry between England and Australia is always great. I’ve been friends with Eddie Jones for a long time, so that made it even more fun.

I loved the build up. I have been watching the game from the back seats since the World Cup. This year I’m making some comments and when you walk into the stadium and feel the atmosphere, you miss it a lot.

Try rugby for maximum adrenaline. Every game, every day, it’s all in. All the tiles are in the middle. It’s a deathmatch every time and Twickenham is a great place to play. The more hostile the better. We haven’t had much success there recently against England, but the team is doing very well.

I'm friends with Eddie Jones, so that made the battles between England and Australia even more fun.

I’m friends with Eddie Jones, so that made the battles between England and Australia even more fun.

Part of being the Australian coach is that you don’t have the resources and wealth of the competition like you do here. You are under attack from other sports in Australia and there is pressure from talent moving abroad.

England have always had a large number of players and the Premiership is leveling up. You’re in a good place when you can choose from Owen Farrell, George Ford, and Marcus Smith. I saw Marcus for the first time on the Lions tour and thought ‘God, this kid can play.’

That being said, Australia does very well considering its resources and always exceeds its weight.

LOCKS

I am a huge fan of Will Skelton and Rory Arnold. I would like to see them again in this competition against the great group of forwards, either as a starter or on the bench. Having those bigger bodies means that we are building a great herd.

Our scrum has been improving for many years and that is probably an area that we have not had in the past. I’m excited to see those great men fight each other.

I'm a big fan of Will Skelton (pictured) - having those great omens on the package is important

I'm a big fan of Will Skelton (pictured) - having those great omens on the package is important

I’m a big fan of Will Skelton (pictured) – having those great omens on the package is important

HALVES OF SCRUM

It has been interesting to see Anthony Seibold move from Brisbane to England. I imagine that England will play the defense of the press abroad to try to stop the threats of attack from Australia abroad.

So how Australia moves inland will be key. Nic White and Tate McDermott have had good seasons, and if they can take their career games on the inside, that should create opportunities on the outside.

COACH

Eddie Jones and Dave Rennie are on different extremes. Dave is just beginning his current international coaching career, but you don’t win two Super Rugby titles by accident.

Eddie Jones and Dave Rennie (coach of Australia, pictured) are at different ends of their careers

Eddie Jones and Dave Rennie (coach of Australia, pictured) are at different ends of their careers

Eddie Jones and Dave Rennie (coach of Australia, pictured) are at different ends of their careers

You could see the way his players talked about him that they want to play for him. It will practically stay under the radar, that’s his style. We know who we are and we want to play a certain style of play. Sometimes that game is going to hurt us because we can play too much attacking and hurting ourselves on the counter. We are not really a kick and chase team.

Younger players are starting to gain a little more experience. They haven’t played many away games due to Covid, so it will be a good experience for coach Dave Rennie to get those players to experiment in enemy territory where you don’t get help.

Michael Cheika spoke on behalf of Amazon Prime Video for their coverage of the Autumn Nations Series. You can watch the Autumn Nations series on Amazon Prime Video for £ 7.99 a month, with a 30-day free trial for new members.

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