If England need a reminder of the Wallabies’ ability to bounce back they only need to watch replays of the two most recent British and Irish Lions series in Australia, according to their coach Eddie Jones.
Following England’s convincing opening Test victory win in Brisbane, Jones says Australia will embrace the underdog tag and he predicts they will mount a desperate challenge in the second Test in Melbourne on Saturday night.
“Australians love being underdogs, it suits their character,” Jones said.
Jones took over as Wallabies coach in late 2001 but was part of the team’s inner sanctum during that year’s Lions series.
The Australians were thrashed in the opening Test in Brisbane, with the series moving to Melbourne for game two.
“We were out of the game for 40 minutes and then Joe Roff scored a fantastic intercept try and then Australia got a second wind and won that second half of that game and then won the series,” Jones said.
In 2013 Australia also fought back from an opening loss to the Lions to win the second in Melbourne but that time the tourists went on to claim the silverware in the decider.
Following their 39-28 victory in Brisbane last Saturday Jones said he was quick to tell his team that the job was far from over.
He reminded his team of the 2001 Lions series turnaround in the change-room after the Suncorp Stadium game.
Jones said the Wallabies would be disappointed with their physicality last Saturday night, with England dominating the breakdown and scrum.
“The physicality is an area they will pick up in and their scrummaging, maybe they will start with (Sekope) Kepu,” he said.
He said his own team needed to pick up their defence, with Australia making a blistering start with two tries in the opening 10 minutes.
“Australia is the most probing side in the world and you watch Australia play and they can probe a weakness,” he said.
“They aren’t as athletically gifted as New Zealand, but in terms of finding a weakness they can find a weakness and attack it and that’s what they did.”