Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne brought up centuries – the former ending a 16-month Test drought – as Australia made a terrific start to the second Test in Sri Lanka on Friday.

Smith (109 not out) reached his first Test hundred since scoring 131 against India in January 2021 shortly before stumps on day one, after Labuschagne (104) had driven Australia into a strong position against the COVID-19-impacted hosts.

Three late wickets from debutant Prabath Jayasuriya (3-90) only partially stemmed the tourists' momentum, with Sri Lanka – who have lost three players to COVID-19 since a crushing first Test defeat - toiling as Australia reached 298-5.

Looking to win four successive Tests against Sri Lanka for the first time since 2004, Australia were led to a solid start by the in-form Usman Khawaja.

Having averaged 117 in 2022 ahead of this contest, Khawaja helped the tourists recover from the early loss of David Warner (5) before being felled by a beauty from Ramesh Mendis shortly before lunch for 37..

Labuschagne took centre stage thereafter, going from strength to strength after Niroshan Dickwella missed the chance to stump him for 28 as he racked up his first away Test hundred.

The 28-year-old's innings represented his seventh Test ton and saw him dovetail brilliantly with Smith – the duo recording their seventh century partnership in just 21 innings - before Dickwella took his second opportunity to stump Labuschagne in the 59th over, after Australia had reached 204-2.

Sri Lanka stepped things up after tea as Jayasuriya added the wickets of Travis Head (12) and Cameron Green (4), but Smith evaded the attack before bringing up his ton with a fine four and will be back at the crease on Saturday.

Labuschagne and Smith drive Aussies forward

Only Joe Root (14) has more Test centuries than Labuschagne since his October 2018 debut after his terrific knock silenced the home crowd.

But if that was good, Australia saved the best until last with Smith's long awaited hundred.

His 28th Test ton was his first in 16 innings and just his second in the red-ball game since the 2019 Ashes, and the former skipper will be hopeful of adding to his tally and taking the tourists beyond 400 after surviving the hosts' late rally.

Out-of-sorts Sri Lanka struggle again 

With bowlers Asitha Fernando and Jeffrey Vandersay among those sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19, Sri Lanka struggled to make headway on a difficult first day.

Having lost three of their five Tests in 2022, Sri Lanka look hard-pushed to stop the tourists after Labuschagne and Smith's day-one heroics. 

Uncapped pair Guy Porter and Tommy Freeman will make their England debuts after they were named in Eddie Jones' starting XV for the second Test against Australia.

The tourists will also hand a first start to Tigers scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet as they ring the chances for the must-win encounter against the Wallabies in Brisbane on Saturday.

Despite a man advantage after Darcy Swain's first-half dismissal in Perth, Jones' side slid to a 30-28 loss at Optus Stadium last weekend in their first encounter.

That has prompted a flurry of changes from the Australian, in what some may see as a risky gamble as he seeks to level the three-match series in what could be humid winter conditions in Queensland.

Leicester title-winning centre Porter will make his bow, while Freeman – who featured last month in an uncapped game against the Barbarians – will make his international debut proper.

Sam Underhill moves up to take the place of Tom Curry, who has been ruled out of the rest of the tour through concussion, while Owen Farrell has been retained at inside centre.

"We have decided to make changes in our backline, they were tough calls, but we feel they will strengthen the team," Jones said. "There are opportunities to attack against Australia which we can take."

Australia meanwhile have been forced into a slate of swaps, through Swain's suspension and Tom Banks' injury, with Matt Philip in for the former and Jordan Petaia moved to full-back to cover the latter's absence.

In a significant boost, prop Taniela Tupou is back, and makes a like-for-like change with the injured Allan Ala'alatoa.

Australia team: Petaia, Wright, Paisami, Kerevi, Koroibete, Lolesio, White; Bell, Porecki, Tupou, Philip, Neville, Leota, Hooper, Valetini.

Replacements: Fainga'a, Sio, Slipper, Frost, Samu, Gordon, O'Connor, Perese.

England team: Steward, Nowell, Porter, Farrell, Freeman, Smith, Van Poortvliet; Genge, George, Stuart, Itoje, Hill, Lawes, Underhill, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, M Vunipola, Heyes, Chessum, Ludlam, Willis, Care, Arundell.

Australia look poised to hand Glenn Maxwell a shock return to Test cricket, with the all-rounder in contention to provide additional spin against Sri Lanka in Galle.

The 33-year-old has not played the long-form game for his country since he featured in the 2017 tour of Bangladesh, instead carving out his place in the white-ball sides.

That has included success in both ODI and T20 formats, with Maxwell a member of the Australia squad that won the T20 World Cup last November, two years on from a semi-final finish at the Cricket World Cup.

But after spin accounted for the majority of wickets in the first Test last week, captain Pat Cummins has indicated the tourists may switch to selecting a single frontline fast bowler for the second and final match.

That would likely see Mitchell Starc drop out, given Cameron Green could be utilised as a pace option, and would open the door for Maxwell, who has seven Test caps, to make a remarkable return to the side.

"He'd play as a spinning all-rounder at number eight," Cummins said. "I thought he was just about the pick of the bowlers in the one-day series, he was excellent. You can easily get 15 or 20 overs out of him.

"If the wicket plays lots of tricks, the batting will be the area where you have to find those 20 or 30 runs somewhere. Last week we didn't need two quicks, but Mitchell Starc's class so we'll wait and see."

Maxwell was a late call-up to cover for the injured Travis Head following Australia's white-ball series against Sri Lanka, and looked otherwise set to miss out following the latter's recovery.

The lack of senior red-ball cricket will not be an issue for Cummins though, who feels that if selected, Maxwell could bring great value towards the tail of the middle order.

"It's pretty different first-class cricket here to what you might experience in the Sheffield Shield," Cummins said. "It's a different pace, the wickets are so different.

"It might not be grinding out a hundred, but a quickfire 30 or 40 would be just as valuable."

The second Test starts on Friday. Australia won the first match by 10 wickets.

Australia's Darcy Swain will miss the Wallabies' final two tour games with England after he was banned for a headbutt that saw him dismissed in the first Test.

The Brumbies lock was sent off in the first half for clashing heads with Jonny May, leaving the hosts to play the remainder of the match a man down in Perth.

Their numerical disadvantage did not prove costly after a dramatic 30-28 win over the tourists at Optus Stadium, but Swain will now play no role in the next two Tests after World Rugby upheld his red card.

"Having acknowledged mitigating factors, including the player’s acknowledgement of foul play, clean disciplinary record, conduct at the hearing and expression of remorse, the committee granted the player full mitigation of 50 per cent," the committee said in a statement.

"The committee further determined that given the above off-field mitigating factors and that a three-week sanction would be wholly disproportionate given the level and nature of the offence, the sanction was further reduced by an extra week."

Swain, who celebrated his birthday earlier this week, can still appeal against the decision, which will otherwise keep him out of matches against Eddie Jones' side in Brisbane on July 9 and Sydney on July 16.

England wing Jonny May is set to miss Saturday's pivotal second Test against Australia in Brisbane as he makes a "graded return" from a coronavirus lay-off.

The 32-year-old Gloucester player has yet to return to full squad training after emerging from quarantine, and that means he is not expected to figure in Eddie Jones' selection for the weekend.

Defence coach Anthony Seibold said on Tuesday: "It was a long seven days for Jonny. He's been back on his feet today, running, but he didn't join in with the team. It will be a graded return to full training for him.

"We tried to include Jonny while he was in isolation, so sending him the team meetings, the backs meetings. We've used him as a really experienced Test player. We have a really young group in the backs, so he's been a bit of a resource for those guys."

May was absent as England loss the first Test 30-28 in Perth, where two late tries prevented the tourists incurring a heavier defeat. London Irish teenager Henry Arundell made a big impression off the bench as a wing and could come into contention to start in Brisbane, or Jones may elect to use him again as a high-impact replacement.

England will also be without flanker Tom Curry, due to concussion, and the Sale Sharks man will not feature in the third Test in Sydney either.

Seibold said potential replacements Lewis Ludlam, Sam Underhill and Jack Willis were "three really good guys".

Quoted on Skysports.com, Seibold added: "Lewis Ludlam came on and competed really strongly when Tom Curry came off on Saturday.

"He's been a great leader for Northampton this year and when he comes into camp you can certainly tell why he is the captain of his club.

"Jack Willis is really good over the ball and competes really strongly defensively, while Sam Underhill was one of the outstanding players at the 2019 World Cup.

"He missed out on selection for the first Test, but he’s competed really strongly to put himself in the frame for the second. So we've got some options there. Tom's a big part of our team so he'll be a loss, but it's an opportunity for somebody else."

Losing senior figures means a difficult task for England becomes even more complicated. Australia have won their last five Tests on home soil – their best-such run since 2008 – and five of their last eight when hosting European opposition.

Tom Curry will play no further part in England's tour of Australia after he was ruled out for the remaining two games through concussion.

The Sale Sharks flanker started for Eddie Jones' side in Saturday's first Test in Perth, but was replaced by Lewis Ludlam at the half-time break as the Wallabies snapped their losing streak in a dramatic 30-28 fightback win.

Curry had travelled to Brisbane for the tourists' next match, but will now fly back to England later this week in what is a sizeable blow.

The 24-year-old - a member of the British and Irish Lions party that toured South Africa last year - is considered a frontrunner for Jones' squad at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

"It has been agreed that in the interest of player welfare and recovery, [Curry] will take no further part in the tour," the Rugby Football Union confirmed in a brief statement.

It is not yet known whether England will call up a replacement for Curry, who is the first noticeable injury the tourists have had to deal with.

The Sharks star - a Premiership Cup winner with the club in 2020, a year on from playing in England's World Cup final defeat to the Springboks in Japan - will continue further assessment upon his return to England.

Jhaniele Fowler scored 58 goals on Sunday to lead the West Coast Fever to the 2022 Suncorp Super Netball title following a keenly contested 70-59 victory over the Melbourne Vixens at the RAC Arena.

It was the Fever’s first league title in 25 years after losing in the finals in 2018 and 2020.

Fowler, who was recently appointed captain of Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls, missed one shot and got support from finals MVP Sasha Glasgow, who shot a perfect four for four from the field but who also hit four of her nine super shots. She also had 26 goal assists.

The Fever never trailed at the intervals having led 18-14 at the end of the first quarter and took a six-point lead (35-29) into half-time.

By the end of the third quarter, the Fever extended the lead to nine points after winning the interval 19-16 before closing out the championship outscoring their opponents 16-14 in the final stanza.

Mwai Kemwenda was outstanding for the Vixens scoring 28 of her 29 attempts while Keira Austin missed only two of her 19 shots during the contest.

The victory, which gave Fowler her first hold on the Super League title, capped another outstanding season for the four-time Fever MVP. Heading into the final, Fowler led the league in scoring – 804 goals, goal attempts (833), offensive rebounds (46) and Nissan Net Points (1438).

Eddie Jones suggested Darcy Swain's first-half dismissal worked in Australia's favour as England crashed to a dismal fourth defeat in a row.

England initially took advantage of their opponents being down to 14 men thanks to Ellis Genge's try early in the second half, only to then collapse in remarkable style.

Jordan Petaia, Folau Fainga'a and Pete Samu crossed over to put Australia out of sight, with Henry Arundell and Jack van Poortvliet tries mere consolations for England.

The visitors were five points ahead with 20 minutes left but went on to lose 30-28, and Jones says their terrible final-quarter showing was not helped by Swain's earlier sending off.

"In some ways, the red card can work against you. Sometimes the referee wants to compensate. We didn't adjust as well as we should have," Jones told Sky Sports.

"We had enough moments to win the game. At 14-9 with 20 minutes to go we should have put it away. The reaction from the boys is to win this series 2-1. We have to go again.

"The message at half-time was to keep putting pressure on and we did that in spurts. We lost the ball twice on their try-line and we didn't pressure them, whereas Australia did. 

"We need to work on our finishing and a bit on our defence as well. There are still some positives to come from what has been a very disappointing result for us."

Jones clarified at his news conference that he did not blame referee James Doleman for his side's defeat in Perth, but reiterated Swain's exit inadvertently helped Australia.

"You look at the history of the game, whenever you get a red card the referee evens it up. He helps the team with the red card," he said.

"It's social reciprocity, it happens, that's normal and we've got to be good enough to handle it.

"It happens in every game of rugby I've seen. The team gets a red card and the opposition gets evened up. Because they're nice blokes, referees.

"I'm not criticising the referees, I'm not using it as an excuse, that's the reality of rugby.

"I'll say it again. I think when you play against 14 men the referee has a significant impact on the game and you've got to be good enough to understand what that is.

"We weren't good enough to understand what that is and therefore we paid the price."

England's defeat was their first against Australia in nine Tests amid a run stretching back to October 2015, pre-dating Jones' time in charge.

Not only did the home side play more than half of the match a man light, they also lost three players to first-half injuries after Quade Cooper pulled up in the warm-up.

Swain was repeatedly provoked by England's players, with Jonny Hill seen pulling his hair, but Australia coach Dave Rennie is unsure if that was a deliberate ploy from the opposition.

"I'm not sure if it was a team plan, but there was certainly provocation there. Not just in that situation but also earlier in the game," he said.

"We'll have a decent look at the footage and work out how we're going to appeal that. We'll have decent look at the card. We'll be seeking clarity around it.

"We train with the scenario of playing with 14 or 13 players all the time. What we know is that we just have to work harder. We found a way."

Australia have now won their last five Tests on home soil – their best-such run since 2008 – and five of their last eight when hosting European opposition.

The second match in the three-Test series takes place in Brisbane next Saturday, before concluding in Sydney the following weekend.

Australia snapped an eight-match losing run against England in thrilling fashion with a 30-28 victory at Optus Stadium in Perth, despite playing more than half of Saturday's contest with 14 men.

The hosts lost fly-half Quade Cooper to injury just before kick-off and were given an even bigger headache when Darcy Swain was dismissed six minutes before half-time for headbutting Jonny Hill.

Eddie Jones' men were leading 6-0 at that point thanks to a couple of Owen Farrell penalties and looked good value to extend their winning streak in this fixture, only for Noah Lolesio to level from the boot before the interval, by which point Australia had lost three more to injury.

England finally managed to shake off their opponents when some great execution and patience from a maul allowed Ellis Genge to cross over for the first try of the three-Test series, but Australia again refused to give up and edged in front through a Jordan Petaia try 15 minutes later.

That led to a remarkable England collapse, with Folau Fainga'a claiming the ball from a line-out and sneaking through just two minutes after being introduced, before Pete Samu added a third try following another fine team drive.

Lolesio converted all three of those tries but was sin-binned for a deliberate knock on, meaning Australia were down to 13 men late on, at which point debutant Henry Arundell raced through with his first involvement after being brought on.

Another England debutant in Jack van Poortvliet finished shortly after, with Farrell again adding the extras, but England did not have a chance to resume play in a defeat that will lead to more questions being asked of Jones.

Ex-Australia back Israel Folau saw his return to Test rugby cut short after he limped off in the first half of Tonga's Pacific Nations Cup loss to Fiji.

The former Wallabies star injured his leg in a collision less than half-an-hour into his debut and left the field in the 27th minute as 'Ikale Tahi slumped to a 36-0 defeat in Suva.

A 73-Test veteran with Australia, Folau - who qualifies for Tonga through his parents - was eligible to switch under new World Rugby regulations that allow for a change of nation after three years of international inactivity.

The 33-year-old, who originally moved to union following a four-year league career in the NRL with Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos, is currently with Shining Arcs Tokyo-Bay Urayasu in Japan's Top League.

Folau is effectively in exile from professional sport in his home country after he was sacked by Rugby Australia over a homophobic social media post in 2019.

He subsequently returned to rugby league and spent a season with Catalans Dragons in Super League before skipping out to return to union in Japan, after he was blacklisted from playing in either code in Australia.

Tonga selected him as part of their squad for the Pacific Nations Cup in May, but it remains to be seen if Folau - who also played AFL with Greater Western Sydney for two years - will be fit enough to return for their next game against Australia A.

Pat Cummins was delighted with Australia's "brave" approach after they thrashed Sri Lanka by 10 wickets on day three of the first Test.

The tourists took a first-innings lead of 109 at the Galle International Stadium on Friday before bowling Sri Lanka out for only 113.

Nathan Lyon took 4-31 after claiming a five-wicket haul in the first innings, and part-time spinner Travis Head, who had never taken a Test wicket, claimed stunning figures of 4-10 as Sri Lanka folded.

Mitchell Swepson took the other two wickets, and after being set only five runs to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series, David Warner hit Ramesh Mendis for four and then six inside the first over to seal an emphatic victory.

Australia captain Cummins said: "A couple of new words we're using about our approach is about being proactive and being brave.

"We saw some really clear methods from all the batters. They might have been individually a bit different, but you saw everyone being really proactive and putting pressure back on the bowlers. It's something you'd normally talk about in one-day cricket or T20 cricket. But I think that's the style over here that's needed."

He added: "I think it's part of the environment that we are trying to create. Failure is absolutely okay, as long as you are failing in a way you are happy to be."

The paceman lavished praise on spinner Lyon, who moved into the top 10 on the list of all-time leading Test wicket-takers by taking his tally to 436.

"I wouldn't change Lyon for anyone," Cummins said. "He's gone into the top 10 wicket-takers of all time. You saw him out there. He's unplayable for left or right-handers.

"Sometimes out here, bounce for spinners is spoken about [as] something that's not desirable, but he showed here with that bounce he was unplayable. His stamina as well – you give him the ball from one end and say see you at the end of the day."

Michael Hooper says Australia are ready to "rip in" and "turn the ledger" on England when they do battle in the first Test on Saturday.

England have won eight consecutive matches against the Wallabies ahead of the showdown at Optus Stadium.

Australia captain Hooper is determined to end that dismal run in Perth this weekend and take a 1-0 lead over Eddie Jones' side in the three-match series

"It's a motivation to win and turn the ledger," he said.

"We have three games at home to do it. It’s been a long time since we’ve played these fellas out here, so we're excited about it.

"It's the top rivalry, isn’t it? Having the Ashes at the back end of last year and this year, the whole of Australian population gets behind whether they're here or in England, it's bragging rights, so it's big for the fans and us.

"There’s some great history between the two teams and two teams rolling into a World Cup next year.

"We're really excited, history hasn’t been in our favour for quite some time now against the English and we're keen to rip in.

"They’re always a tough outfit. They’ve picked a powerful team with some real skill and experience involved there. We’re expecting a tough time."

Hooker David Porecki and lock Cadeyrn Neville will make their Wallabies debuts on Saturday.

At the age of 33 years and 235 days, Neville is to become the third-oldest Australia debutant since World War II.

 

Michael Hooper says Australia are ready to "rip in" and "turn the ledger" on England when they do battle in the first Test on Saturday.

England have won eight consecutive matches against the Wallabies ahead of the showdown at Optus Stadium.

Australia captain Hooper is determined to end that dismal run in Perth this weekend and take a 1-0 lead over Eddie Jones' side in the three-match series

"It's a motivation to win and turn the ledger," he said.

"We have three games at home to do it. It’s been a long time since we’ve played these fellas out here, so we're excited about it.

"It's the top rivalry, isn’t it? Having the Ashes at the back end of last year and this year, the whole of Australian population gets behind whether they're here or in England, it's bragging rights, so it's big for the fans and us.

"There’s some great history between the two teams and two teams rolling into a World Cup next year.

"We're really excited, history hasn’t been in our favour for quite some time now against the English and we're keen to rip in.

"They’re always a tough outfit. They’ve picked a powerful team with some real skill and experience involved there. We’re expecting a tough time."

Hooker David Porecki and lock Cadeyrn Neville will make their Wallabies debuts on Saturday.

At the age of 33 years and 235 days, Neville is to become the third-oldest Australia debutant since World War II.

 

Henry Arundell could be a "significant player" by the time of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, says England coach Eddie Jones, who compared him to the legendary Bryan Habana after his exploits in training.

The London Irish back is in line for his international debut after he was named on the bench for the tourists' first match of their three-game series against hosts Australia in Perth.

While Jones has rung the changes elsewhere across his squad – with Owen Farrell stripped of the captaincy and Courtney Lawes installed with the armband – he has nevertheless been impressed by the 19-year-old's skill.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's opener at Perth Stadium, the coach illustrated the teenager's exploits amid his squad's preparation – and suggested he could emulate South Africa winger Habana with a bright, fast future.

"Henry scored...how long is the field, 100 metres? He scored a 90-metre try at training on Wednesday. There were a few, I won't use the expletives, 'he's fast!' heard," Jones said.

"We had a number of coaches from different sports watching and they heard this comment.

"He scored a try not many other players in the world would have scored. It was like a try Bryan Habana used to score – one of those.

"He could be a very good player but he's got a long way to go. We feel like if he continues his development and we're able to give him some game time on this tour, by the World Cup he could be a significant player."

England will follow their game in Perth with successive clashes in Brisbane on July 9 and Sydney on July 16, with the visitors looking to extend their eight-match winning streak against Australia.

Jones is looking to reverse a slump in his side's form, ahead of next year's World Cup, where they are currently drawn alongside Japan, Argentina and Samoa in Pool D.

Eddie Jones has the respect of England's players but must deliver results if he is to lift pressure from his shoulders ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup, according to former Australia captain George Gregan.

Experienced coach Jones had his future called into question on the back of another poor Six Nations campaign for England, who finished a distant third behind Ireland and champions France with two wins from five matches.

Jones is under contract until after the 2023 World Cup and has been given the support of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), although performance director Conor O'Shea confirmed in March the search is under way for the 62-year-old's long-term successor.

Former Australia boss Jones has repeatedly stated that peaking in time for next year's showpiece in France is his big aim, with his side's three-Test series Down Under – their first summer tour in four years – providing an opportunity to further experiment.

While Gregan can understand the questions being asked of Jones, the retired scrum-half – who played under Jones for Australia and the Brumbies – understands supporters want to see signs of progress now.

"I think pressure is always there with a head coach," said Gregan, ahead of Saturday's first Test in Perth. "I'm not going to speak on his behalf, but he knows that as a head coach it's all results driven in professional sport.

"If you're not getting the results, and particularly if you're not getting consistent Ws [wins], then it does come around: 'Why is the team not performing?' That was definitely the case with Six Nations where there's patches of really good performances.

"But then obviously some things also which can get taken out of your hands, which is decision-making, you lose plays in the bin, all that kind of stuff. But that's rugby. And so how do you adapt? And how do you adjust? But they're all good experiences and learning experiences.

"I know there was no Jonny May, there was no Owen Farrell, there's a lot of players missing in that Six Nations campaign, they'll probably take part in this coming tour. And then he's built a nice squad."

Gregan is supporting The Open Championship Claret Jug Tour, partnered with HSBC UK, and he added: "I think you've always got your eyes a little bit ahead for the World Cup. And that's definitely the case for someone like Eddie and all coaches, but it's also the here and now, and they'll be looking to really improve and try not to drop out of games. I think every good team wants to do that."

 

England may have struggled for consistent form, but they have won their last eight Tests against Australia since October 2015, conceding an average of just 14 points per game across the last four of those matches.

Jones is undefeated against his country of birth during his near-seven-year England tenure, meanwhile, and famously oversaw a series whitewash in 2016.

Gregan believes the England boss will have the full backing of his dressing room.

"Eddie is a real players' coach. He's really driven to create the best environment for his players to perform," Gregan said. "He's the hardest marker on the team's performance on himself. I think you see that a lot.

"He'll deflect to the team when it's doing well, and he’ll take ownership when it's not doing well. That's a classic head coach, and he's never wavered from that. And I think that's why the players really respect him.

"He's hard, he's very consistent in terms of his messaging. He's very clear on what he wants the team to do. But he also empowers the playing group to try and do that. And that's the coach's coach.

"And ultimately, I think from my experiences with Eddie, he really wants the players to be sort of taking the reins on the field and making sure they're really comfortable making decisions to provide support.

"But as you know, coaches are sort of in the grandstand, there's only a limited amount that they can do once the players are on the pitch. I think that's what he tries to do, and all good head coaches try to encourage those leaders and the players on the field to make good decisions, which hopefully put you on the right side of the ledger."

Australia have lost three straight Tests heading into their first fixture with England this weekend, two of those by a margin of no more than two points – the last time they lost more successive games was a four-game stretch from June to August in 2018.

However, the Wallabies have won their last four matches on home turf, and four of their past seven when hosting European opposition, which Gregan believes will make for an entertaining series.

"England playing Australia in any sport is always exciting – particularly rugby," Gregan said. "Obviously there's that little touch with Eddie being a former Wallabies coach and obviously Australian. And he's had a great record against the Wallabies since he's taken over the helm in English rugby.

"It's gonna be a fantastic series, Dave Rennie, the Wallaby coaching staff and the playing group will be really targeting the series as something, which is another step in the right direction for being consistent and beating some of the top international teams.

"Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, on the bounce. So, three big Test matches over three consecutive weeks. And I think both teams, stating the obvious, will want to get off to a pretty hot start in Perth, because it's always good to be one up in those types of series."


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