Welcome home Mr Jones.
No sooner had Eddie Jones stepped off the plane at Brisbane on Thursday morning than the England coach’s bags were targeted for a check by immigration officials.
To ex-Wallabies mentor Jones, who is not averse to encouraging a siege mentality, it supported his claims that England will face an orchestrated campaign through the local media and elsewhere on their three-Test tour of Australia.
“I just went through immigration and I got shunted through the area where everything got checked. That’s what I’m expecting mate,” Jones said.
“Everything that’s done around the game is going to be co-ordinated. All co-ordinated to help Australia win.”
Jones’s task is to help England win.
The Six Nations champions arrive in Australia confident but aware of their woeful record on these shores.
In 17 matches in Australia, England have won just three times.
Jones is also wary of his good friend and current Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who is seven years his junior at 49.
They played together at Sydney club Randwick and it’s clear that Jones holds his opposite number in high regard.
“Australia are second in the world. They’ve got the best coach in the world. They’re playing in their own backyard, they’re going to be strong favourites for the tour,” Jones said.
“Our record in Australia is three Tests since Captain Cook arrived, so it’s not a great record is it?”
Jones had already warned that he was selecting a squad ready to play “Bodyline rugby”, but he says that’s just a simple truth rather than an ominous threat.
“Australia play a very physical game and to beat Australia we’re going to have to be physical,” he said.
“I don’t think what I’m saying is anything new. All we’re saying is we know that’s going to be a vital part of the series and we’re prepared to play like that.”
Jones and his team will spend the next couple of days recovering on the Gold Coast before beginning their preparations in earnest for the series opener at Suncorp Stadium on June 11.