Rugby great Simon Poidevin says the Wallabies must break through the pain barrier to take down a hell-bent England team in Saturday night’s eagerly awaited first Test in Brisbane.
Poidevin, the first Australian to rack up 50 Tests and whose last came in the gripping 12-6 victory over England in the 1991 World Cup final at Twickenham, believes the Wallabies will need to bring every ounce of physicality they can muster to overcome the reigning Six Nations champions.
The tough flanker has no doubts his old Randwick clubmate and England coach Eddie Jones’ vow to bury the Wallabies 3-0 with bruising “Bodyline” rugby will prove no hollow promise.
“They’re naturally a big side,” Poidevin told AAP.
“But, at the same time, we’re a big side as well.
“It’s a tough sport so both sides will have athletes out there, but you’ve got to be mentally tough as well and you’ve got to take a fair bit of pain.
“So Eddie will be driving that message into his players as well, and their history in Australia is not good.”
Tipping Australia to prevail in an epic series, Poidevin says it’s vital the Wallabies conquer England to continue the momentum from reaching last year’s World Cup final and, ultimately, get another shot at snatching the Bledisloe Cup back from New Zealand.
“There will be no easy yards through the whole three-match series, but I think we’ve got a very good side to win at home,” he said.
“It’s a natural advantage to be here in Australia and I think our record at home is a pretty proud thing the players carry.
“The fact that we’ve gone through the World Cup and performed so well at Twickenham in the World Cup, sides to be a really great side in world rugby also need to be able to perform anywhere – and this Australian side has got the ability to do that.”