Eddie Jones believes England demonstrated they are heading in the right direction following the gutsy series victory over Australia.

Jones' side added to their tour triumph in 2016 by making it back-to-back series wins Down Under, beating the Wallabies 21-17 in the deciding Test on Saturday.

The tourists fell behind in the series after going down 30-28 in Perth, but levelled up by prevailing 25-17 in Brisbane last weekend.

They made a slow start to the third Test, falling 10-3 behind after Tom Wright crossed for the hosts. Yet England recovered as Freddie Steward and Marcus Smith went over to turn the contest firmly in their favour at 21-10, and they stood firm after Folau Fainga'a powered over later on.

It meant England lifted the Ella-Mobbs Trophy, justifying the backing from Jones. Despite a disappointing Six Nations campaign, Jones maintained a constant view that his team were making significant advances, which he feels has been justified by this series victory.

The head coach hopes the progress will continue as the 2023 World Cup in France edges closer, with his side aiming to go one better after losing 32-12 to South Africa in the 2019 final.

"We weren't at our best in this Test, but we kept fighting, and we kept in the game – particularly the defence of our finishers at the end was outstanding – and that got us the result," Jones told Sky Sports.

"We were just a little bit off, but we kept fighting, and it was a great effort by the leaders. It's a really positive step. We've always felt the team is going in the right direction. Sometimes, the results don't reflect that.

"At the end of the game, we had six players with under 10 caps, so it is an inexperienced squad who will really benefit from an experience like this.

"They understand how hard they have to fight to win a Test match away from home. Some of our guys have now won two series away in Australia. I am so proud of their efforts.

"We are in a good position. We have just got to slowly, slowly keep improving. We want to be at our best by next October."

England captain Courtney Lawes hailed the determination of his team-mates after the tourists sealed a series victory over Australia on Saturday.

Eddie Jones' side made it back-to-back series wins Down Under - adding to their 2016 triumph - as they recovered from a slow start to defeat the Wallabies 21-17 in the deciding Test.

The hosts, who won the opening Test 30-28 before they were pegged back 25-17 in the second last weekend, dominated early proceedings at Sydney Cricket Ground, establishing a 10-3 lead thanks to Tom Wright's try.

But England came back before the break through Freddie Steward, while Marcus Smith also crossed in the second half to put the 2003 world champions in control at 21-10 to the good.

Folau Fainga'a went over late on as the hosts set up a grandstand finish, but Lawes and his team-mates stood firm to lift the Ella-Mobbs Cup.

"It really shows what it means for us to play this team," the skipper told Sky Sports. "We had a tough start to this series, but have showed what we're made of.

"We didn't come out how we wanted to today. The message at half-time was to stick together. We knew what we wanted to do. We showed what it means to play for this team.

"We did what we wanted to do to improve week on week. It's a proud moment, for sure.

"We've still got a lot to learn. We can win a game like this where you don't really fire a shot, and you take your chances when you can. We did a lot of defending."

Meanwhile, try scorer Steward also heaped praise on the efforts of Jones' side, saying: "The boys just dug in and gave everything. To win with an effort like that, it was a proper Test match. It's special.

"To come here, dig in with an effort like that at the back end of the season is pretty awesome. It is a great way to end the season especially having been one down is amazing."

England made sure of only their second series victory in Australia after coming from behind to beat the Wallabies 21-17 in the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Eddie Jones' side recovered in impressive fashion from a slow start that saw them trail 10-3 after Tom Wright's try.

The tourists hit back with Freddie Steward and Marcus Smith crossing, and they came under late pressure before securing another triumph Down Under, six years after their first.

England weathered a storm during the early stages; Noah Lolesio missing a first kick of the series before the right boot of Farrell put Jones' team in front.

The hosts soon established the lead that their early pressure deserved. Marika Koroibete's lay-off released Wright, who broke from just inside his own half and exchanged passes with Nic White before going over.

Lolesio booted the conversion and added a penalty, but England finished the half strongly. After Farrell trimmed the gap with a penalty, England edged their noses back in front at 11-10 when Steward crossed in the corner after a lengthy spell of pressure.

Farrell could not add the extras but stretched the England advantage with a penalty early in the second half, before Smith pounced on a poor lineout with a 55-metre sprint for the line.

Folau Fainga'a powered over 14 minutes from time to set up a nervy finish, but the tourists stood firm to seal the series.

England head coach Eddie Jones has called for World Rugby to take action and stop the "incessant" interventions from the television match official (TMO) during matches.

Jones' side beat Australia 25-17 last weekend in a second Test that saw 26 penalties, two yellow cards and the TMO heavily involved throughout.

The contest spanned almost two hours, while Ireland's victory over New Zealand on the same day saw three yellows and a red dished out in the first half alone in Dunedin.

Speaking on the back of his side's victory in Brisbane that levelled up the three-match series, Jones said rugby union's laws are now "out of control".

And in his final news conference ahead of Saturday's decisive third Test in Sydney, Jones went one step further by urging the sport's top governing body to intervene now.

"I don’t want to see a New Zealand-Ireland game like that ever again," Jones said. 

"Otherwise imagine at the next World Cup … you play a quarter-final, you get a red card and two yellows, you're down to 12 men and it's just ridiculous. 

"I've been speaking to a few ex-coaches. The referees, coaches and players need to get together and say 'This is the game we want. This is the game people want to see'. 

"I'm certainly going to be pushing for it because I've had enough."

The issues previously raised by Jones were further highlighted on Wednesday in the thrilling and high-tempo State of Origin decider.

"We've got to keep the game safe, don't get me wrong, but accidental head contact and this incessant use of the TMO, we've got to cut that out," Jones added.

"We've got to get a better balance in the game. There's a rhythm to how rugby is looked at and officiated and we've got to get in a good rhythm again. 

"We don't have it at the moment. Every time we get a flow in the game, there's a stoppage.

"We've just gone too far down one road. There are discussions all the time and World Rugby are doing their best. 

"But certainly before November I'm going to be agitating for something like [a summit]. Let's get the game going."

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."

Australia must prove their intensity against England in order to "shut the Pommies up" in the third and final Test this weekend, says winger Suliasi Vunivalu.

The Wallabies head to Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday for the final game of their three-match series with Eddie Jones' side.

Having overcome a tough start to win in Perth, the hosts were then outclassed in Brisbane, leaving the last match in New South Wales as a winner-takes-all decider.

Former NRL winger-turned-cross-code convert Vunivalu will make his debut in the green and gold, having previously represented Fiji - the country of his birth - at international level in rugby league.

The ex-Melbourne Storm man has been named on the bench for the match and says if Australia can find the intensity straight out of the gate they have missed, they will only improve their prospects against the tourists.

"We have been lacking that with the Wallabies for our first 20 minutes," he stated. "If we can bring that up and shut the Pommies up, we'll do a good job."

Having crossed codes to join the Queensland Reds last year, injury has kept Vunivalu away from a maiden bow for his adopted country, but the winger is delighted that he will finally get his chance.

"It’s been a long time coming with a couple of setbacks last year," he added.

"The main goal last year coming over to rugby was to play for Reds and don the gold jersey. I feel grateful to be able to play in this third game and decider in Sydney."

"I’m fully excited and can’t wait. Just to look back with all the setbacks, watching the boys last year and the spring tour. I was doing my rehab in Melbourne, itching to get back and now the day has come."

 

Leicester second-rower Ollie Chessum will make his first start and Danny Care returns to Eddie Jones' XV for England in the deciding third Test against Australia.

The tourists have made minimal changes to the side that delivered a major victory in Brisbane last Saturday, to force their three-game series to a decider against the Wallabies.

After overcoming the frustrations of an opening loss to their hosts in Perth despite a man advantage for most of the game, coach Jones rung the changes in a bid to stave off a second defeat in as many games.

That delivered a crucial 25-17 victory at Suncorp Stadium to take the series through to its final match, at Sydney Cricket Ground this weekend.

Chessum comes into the side as part of an enforced change, taking the spot of Maro Itoje, while Lewis Ludlum also steps up after Sam Underhill was ruled out with concussion.

Care meanwhile is the lone tactical change made by Jones to his backline, with the Harlequins scrum-half given the nod over Jack van Poortvliet, having been dropped for the latter in Queensland.

Australia meanwhile make four changes to the side that were downed in the Sunshine State, with two-time NRL premier and cross-code recruit Suliasi Vunivalu in line for a debut off the bench.

The ex-Melbourne Storm flyer switched codes to play for the Reds in 2021, and is the unfamiliar face among the newcomers, with Reece Hodge and Harry Wilson in for their first Tests of the year.

Nick Frost meanwhile gets a start in the second row and James Slipper moves back to the traditional spot of loosehead prop.

Australia team: Hodge, Wright, Paisami, Kerevi, Koroibete, Lolesio, White; Slipper, Porecki, Tupou, Frost, Philip, Wilson, Hooper, Valetini.

Replacements: Faingaa, Bell, Alaalatoa, Leota, Samu, McDermott, Ikitau, Vunivalu.

England team: Steward, Nowell, Porter, Farrell, Freeman, Smith, Care; Genge, George, Stuart, Chessum, Hill, Lawes, Ludlam, Vunipola.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Vunipola, Heyes, Isiekwe, Willis, Van Poortvliet, Joseph, Arundell.

Dan McKellar says Australia must avoid getting "sucked into" England's "niggle" when they do battle in the decisive Test at the SCG on Saturday.

The Red Rose levelled the three-match series with a 25-17 victory at Suncorp Stadium last weekend.

Eddie Jones' men came out firing as they stepped up the physicality in Brisbane to bring Australia back down to earth.

Assistant coach McKellar says the Wallabies must keep their discipline if England attempt to get under their skins again with the series on the line.

"It's pretty pointless these days isn’t it?" he said. "You go rushing in and [you're] third man in and you're on the receiving end of a yellow card.

"It all comes down to emotional control and making sure you're not getting sucked into those sort of tactics.

"The officials will be world-class on Saturday and it's their job to look after.

"It's not something we plan or put tactics to in this environment. We have much more important things to worry about that'll go a fair way towards deciding a Test match than a little niggle."

Australia are waiting to learn the extent of a knee injury suffered by Cadeyrn Neville, while they will have to do without Darcy Swain (suspension), Izack Rodda (foot), Jed Holloway (calf) and Ned Hanigan (knee).

McKellar says they must show their strength in depth.

"I think what makes it seamless is the preparation we've done over the past three-four weeks and understanding whoever's playing will be involved heavily in preparation over that period of time," he added.

"You can't be throwing your eggs in one basket thinking they'll get through a series. The game is played at an incredibly high intensity these days, very physical, and sadly we've seen a fair few injuries.

"We've been unlucky in that area and every now and again you get clusters in a position, you just have to make sure your whole squad is prepared and ready to step up if required."

An unbeaten double century from Dinesh Chandimal and a six-wicket haul for Prabath Jayasuriya guided Sri Lanka to an emphatic win over Australia to level the two-Test series.

Sri Lanka completed their win by an innings and 39 runs on day four.

Chandimal had earlier watched on as Kamindu Mendis (61) was bowled by Mitchell Swepson without adding to his overnight score, with Niroshan Dickwella (5) following to Nathan Lyon (2-194).

But Ramesh Mendis (29) provided ample support to Chandimal by surviving for 98 balls, as the latter brought up his double hundred with consecutive sixes against Mitchell Starc.

Chandimal was the last man standing on 206 – the highest score by a Sri Lankan against Australia in men's Tests – as Starc (4-89) and Swepson (3-103) cleaned up the tail with the hosts 190 runs ahead.

Sri Lanka continued in the ascendancy as Ramesh Mendis removed David Warner for 24, with the score on 49-1, after Dickwella earlier missed a stumping chance to remove Usman Khawaja when on just two.

Khawaja did not capitalise on that chance, falling for 29 to Jayasuriya (6-59), who removed Steve Smith without scoring four balls later, before Travis Head (5) failed in his defence against Ramesh Mendis (2-47).

Marnus Labuschagne (32) and Cameron Green (23) offered brief resistance but both were dismissed by Jayasuriya, who completed his second five-for of the Test when Starc departed for a two-ball duck.

Maheesh Theekshana (2-48) then trapped Pat Cummins (16) and Lyon (5) in front, before Jayasuriya dismissed Swepson (0) for his 12th wicket of the match to bowl the tourists out for 151 and seal Sri Lanka's first Test victory over Australia since 2016.

Dreamy Dinesh joined by Jayasuriya

Chandimal posted his maiden Test double century as he surpassed his previous high score of 164 against India in 2017 to press home Sri Lanka's advantage and help his side to a memorable win.

Kumar Sangakkara previously held the highest Sri Lanka Test score against Australia (192 in November 2007), but Chandimal eased past that benchmark with a remarkable 16 fours and five sixes in 326 balls.

Where's your Head at?

Head has struggled in the series against Sri Lanka, posting double figures in just one of three innings – though a high score of 12 leaves a lot to be desired.

More concerningly, Head has been bowled on two of his three dismissals, leading to questions over his defensive technique on spin-friendly, challenging pitches in the subcontinent.

Dinesh Chandimal put Sri Lanka in control of the second Test against Australia with an unbeaten century on day three.

The hosts, playing in Galle amid the backdrop of political unrest in the country, picked up where they left off at the end of day two as they continued to excel with the bat to reach 431-6 at stumps in response to Australia's 364 all out.

Sri Lanka resumed on 184-2, but Kusal Mendis – one of the stars of the second day – added just one to his overnight total as he went for 85.

However, Sri Lanka found stability in the form of ex-captain Angelo Mathews (52) and Chandimal (118 not out), who combined for an 83-run fourth-wicket partnership.

Australia paid the price for wasting their reviews on unsuccessful leg before appeals against both Mathews and Chandimal, leaving them with none to use when Nathan Lyon trapped Mathews with a delivery that DRS showed would have hit the stumps and when ultra edge showed Chandimal had edged Mitchell Starc behind on 30.

Marnus Labuschagne's catch at short leg did eventually end Mathews' innings, but Australia found no way through the defences of Chandimal, who brought up his hundred with a quick single off Lyon.

Chandimal found yet more support from Kamindu Mendis, who struck 61 on debut, and will look to work with the tail to make Australia toil further after guiding Sri Lanka to a lead of 67 runs at the close.

Lucky 13 for Chandimal

Chandimal's century was his 13th in Test cricket and his second of the year following his 124 in Bangladesh in May. He will now look to go beyond his high score of 164 against India in 2017 and press home Sri Lanka's advantage.

Sri Lanka's show of strength

Encapsulating Australia's struggles to make inroads, this innings marked the first time five Sri Lanka batters have scored 50 or more against them. Additionally, this is only the fifth time five of Sri Lanka's top six have scored half-centuries.

England head coach Eddie Jones says rugby union's laws are "out of control" after a high number of cards were again issued across this weekend's Test matches.

Jones saw up close two players get sin-binned in England's 25-17 win over Australia on Saturday as Marcus Smith and Izaia Perese were penalised for deliberate knock-ons.

The 62-year-old did not feel either player deserved to be issued a yellow card, which was also the general view of spectators watching on.

Referee Jaco Peyper was even more card happy in Ireland's historic away win in New Zealand, meanwhile, dishing out three yellows and a red in the first half alone in Dunedin.

On the back of another day of contentious decisions, Jones has called for "common sense" to prevail from officials.

"The game's out of control," he said. "You saw the New Zealand and Ireland Test – at one stage, commentators couldn't count how many players were on the field! 

"You had three backs packing a scrum. We've gone the full hog where everything's a red card, yellow card and there needs to be some common sense.

"I picked the referee's pocket [before the game] – he had plenty of cards in it."

While Jones was adamant neither Smith nor Perese should have been cautioned, opposite number Dave Rennie said he could understand the referee's call.

"There's no doubt Izzy is trying to catch it," Rennie said. "It's certainly different from an intentional slap down, but I have no issue with that decision."

Eddie Jones said silencing Australia's supporters was a "great feeling" after England claimed a 25-17 victory in Brisbane to level the three-match series.

England had lost their past four games heading into the second Test at Suncorp Stadium, including a defeat to the Barbarians. They were jolted by last week's 30-28 loss to Australia in Perth but responded in style on Saturday.

Billy Vunipola crossed over early on for England's only try and Owen Farrell kicked four penalties to give the visitors a 19-0 first-half lead.

Taniela Tupou reduced the arrears before the interval and Samu Kerevi walked in a second, either side of a couple more Farrell penalties, but England saw out the victory.

After getting one over on his country of birth and the team he previously managed for four years, Jones admitted he took great joy from leaving the home hordes disappointed.

"I love coaching at Suncorp Stadium, it's a good experience," Jones said. "You've got 48,000 people all full of drink and all they want to see is their team win.

"When you turn them away, it's a great experience. A great feeling. I was coming out from the coaches' box and they all have their scarves on.

"When did Australians start wearing scarves? It's all the rage, isn't it? They are not so smart now.

"Before the game they are coming up saying to me, 'You are going to get belted tonight'. Now they are a little bit more quiet. So that's good. I enjoy that."

England have now won four of their past five games in Oceania, having won just one of the previous 12 away matches against teams from that continent.

Saturday's victory sets up a thrilling decider in Sydney next weekend, and Jones has no doubt it is the home side that will be under more pressure.

"It's 1-1. And the pressure's on the other mob now," he said. "So they've got to deal with that pressure. We'll find ways of getting better.

"It was a good effort by the boys. We just tightened our game up a little bit this week.

"The boys carried out the game-plan really well, and played with a lot of intensity, a lot of passion, and we had three new caps. Incredible.

"It's just time together. We're a very young, inexperienced team. It takes time to put things together, and we'll be more cohesive next week."

There was one big negative to come out of the game for Jones, however, as Maro Itoje failed to return to the field after undergoing a head injury assessment.

Itoje collided with Hunter Paisami shortly before the interval and Jones later confirmed the lock will play no part in the deciding Test.

"The medical situation with Maro is that he will be out next weekend," Jones said.

Prior to this weekend's fixtures, Itoje's 83 line-outs won in Tests since the beginning of 2021 was at least 21 more than any other player from a Tier One nation.

Sri Lanka provided a fine response to keep themselves in the conversation on day two of their second Test against Australia, whom they trail by 180 runs after reaching 184-2 at stumps.

The tourists added 66 runs to their day-one total at the start of the action on Saturday before Sri Lanka began what looked to be a fairly daunting reply to 364.

Set against the backdrop of mass anti-government protests amid an economic crisis in the country, with demonstrations reaching the stadium in Galle, anyone would have forgiven Sri Lanka for being distracted.

But they were locked-in throughout on what was an impressive day for them all round on the pitch.

Steve Smith picked up where he left off on day one to ultimately finish on 145 not out, but after Alex Carey (28) was dismissed, Australian batsmen dropped like flies as they put on just 35 runs for their last four wickets partly thanks to Prabath Jayasuriya's (6-118) tremendous six-for on debut.

Sri Lanka's innings started poorly, with Pathum Nissanka sent packing for six by Mitchell Starc (1-28) in the ninth over to leave them 12-1.

Dimuth Karunaratne (86) was then almost run out on 18 and also had a lucky escape just before tea when nearly finding the clutches of Mitchell Swepson (1-31).

But there were otherwise few scares for Sri Lanka as Australia's attack faded in the face of Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis (84 not out).

That was until Swepson's return, as he slammed a delivery into Karunaratne's pads to snare him leg before.

Mendis continued to elude Australia, however, providing a steadying a presence as Sri Lanka reached the close in good shape.

Jayasuriya has a day to remember

On his Test debut, Jayasuriya produced a memorable showing with the ball. His performance undoubtedly proved key in preventing Australia reaching 400.

His figures are the second best by a Sri Lankan bowler on a Test debut, with only Praveen Jayawickrama (6-92) against Bangladesh in 2021 doing better.

Mendis, Karunaratne frustrate Australia

Mendis and Karunaratne may not have put on runs at a devastating rate, but that is not always what is required in Test cricket. They were playing the long game and it worked.

Australia's attack did not provide Sri Lanka with the opportunities to quickly build a big total, but their second-wicket stand kept the hosts on track and they head into day three in a good position thanks to the pair.

England held firm to overcome Australia 25-17 on Saturday as they snapped a three-game losing run and levelled up their three-match series Down Under.

The visitors let slip a commanding lead and a one-man advantage to lose 30-28 in last week's opening Test, but they responded in Brisbane with a resilient and aggressive display.

Australia made six changes to last week's winning side, many of them enforced, and England took full advantage by taking a 19-7 lead into half-time at Suncorp Stadium.

Billy Vunipola crossed over inside five minutes following a spell of sustained early pressure and Owen Farrell added to the successful conversion with four penalties.

An undisciplined Australia, who also lost Izaia Perese for 10 minutes for a deliberate knock-on, gave themselves hope just before the interval when Taniela Tupou powered over.

Another Farrell penalty early in the second half gave England breathing space, only for Samu Kerevi to walk in from an overlap for the hosts' second try of the contest,

Australia finally had some momentum, and Noah Lolesio's penalty after Marcus Smith was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on made things even more interesting.

But three more points from the boot of Farrell put the game out of Australia's reach as England saw out just a second win in their past six matches away from home.

Brendon McCullum says his England side are about much more than aggressive cricket, labelling the term 'Bazball' "silly" as he responded to Steve Smith's comments about the team's revival.

England have looked reinvigorated since McCullum and Ben Stokes took over as red-ball coach and captain respectively.

They have posted three of their highest-ever run chases in their last three Tests after a remarkable victory over India at Edgbaston.

Having whitewashed world champions New Zealand 3-0, England completed a 378-run chase against India on Tuesday, drawing the teams' delayed series and sparking new levels of excitement among fans.

'Bazball' – the term coined to describe England's aggressive style under the New Zealander – has won near-universal praise, but the coach himself says it does not do justice to their displays.

"I don't really like that silly term that people are throwing out there," he told Australian radio station SEN. 

"Because there's actually quite a bit of thought that goes into how the guys manufacture their performances and when they put pressure on bowlers and which bowlers they put pressure on. 

"There's also times where they've absorbed pressure beautifully as well."

Former Australia skipper Steve Smith is among those yet to be convinced by England's style, recently declaring to the Sydney Morning Herald: "I'm just intrigued to see how long it lasts, if it's sustainable."

Australia's 4-0 Ashes humiliation of England in December and January irreversibly damaged Joe Root's captaincy, with the next edition of the teams' Test rivalry set for 2023.

McCullum insisted Smith was right to question England, adding Australia would provide the biggest challenge of his tenure but stressing his immediate focus was on the three-part series with South Africa, set to begin on August 17 at Lord's.

"I saw those [comments] flick up on one of the feeds somewhere," McCullum added. "It's quite right, it is going to be a big challenge when we take on Australia.

"It's going to challenge our method, and it's going to challenge what we're capable of achieving and that's pretty exciting I reckon.

"Isn't that what the game's all about? To sort of reinvigorate yourself and then be confronted against the very best.

"I do believe that both New Zealand and India are two very, very good cricket sides as well. Australia is a different kind of challenge because of the history of the Ashes and the rivalry which exists there.

"We know that's probably the ultimate challenge for us. We'll have to deal with that in time, I guess. In this job you plan as if you'll live forever and live as if you'll die tomorrow.

"You want to make sure you enjoy the ride. I keep preaching to the boys about being where your feet are and to try to immerse yourself in the here and now.

"You take your eye off anything, and teams will be able to make sure you look a bit silly. Our focus will be on South Africa for now but at some point in time, that will be a series which we [focus on].

"Test cricket needs the Ashes to be strong and competitive. You'd say the last one wasn't so that's the task for us in time."

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