Jones eyes fast start with improved England mindset in Australia series decider

By Sports Desk July 14, 2022

Eddie Jones implored his England side to be "even better" in the Test series decider against Australia, where he insisted the mindsets of his players will be vital.

England ended a four-match losing streak by defeating Australia 25-17 in Brisbane to level the three-Test series, teeing up a winner-takes-all decider in Sydney on Saturday.

The tourists have won four of their past five games in Oceania, having done so just once in their previous 12 away matches against teams from that continent.

Jack van Poortvliet impressed in the second Test but has been replaced by Danny Care, though coach Jones suggested the decision is tactical.

"We've got to be even better. And it's all about the mindset of the players," Jones told Sky Sports.

"Physically we're really good, but the players have got to attune themselves to how important the start is. We're aiming to get that right with our boys.

"We've had a really good week. We were pretty battered after the Brisbane Test, so we didn't train until Tuesday but we had a good session and an even better session on Wednesday.

"We've got a younger team again, but they're all up for the challenge, and some of our old players have come back, like the Vunipolas, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Jonny Hill are coming back to their best, so it's a good team we've got in place and we're looking forward to the challenge of winning the series.

"It's a tactical decision [Care for Van Poortvliet]. We feel that JVP will handle the latter part of the game really well, and that's where the game's going to be won and lost.

"And the first part of the game with the New Zealand referee Paul Williams is probably going to be a lot of quick ruck ball, and that's where Danny is at his absolute best.

"So we're just trying to maximise the strengths of each of those two players – JVP was magnificent last week."

England will be without Sam Underhill and Maro Itoje after the pair suffered concussions in the second Test, while Tom Curry has returned home after sustaining the same injury.

Ollie Chessum and Lewis Ludlam have been introduced to replace Underhill and Itoje, and Jones has little concern the pair will slot straight into the team.

"[Ludlam] has energy. He works really hard on and off the ball, and he's also a very good communicator on the field, so whilst we'll miss Sam and Tom Curry, we won't lose anything with Lewis," Jones added.

"Maro's been one of those guys that has been in nearly every Test team I've picked in the time I've been here.

"So we'll miss him but Chessum's a good young player, he's been training really well, he was part of the very successful Leicester Tigers team and he'll enjoy the opportunity."

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