England captain Dylan Hartley says the mental aspect is the biggest challenge for his players heading into Saturday’s final Test with the Wallabies.
England have sought to adopt a Cup final mentality for the game at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium, to stave off any temptation to slacken after winning the three-match series in just two games.
“We’ve had the quarters and the semis and I think it’s the biggest challenge this week, mentally,” hooker Hartley said.
“I think physically we know how we can play, there’s always stuff to improve on, areas of the game we want to improve on and play a complete game.
“But mentally getting up for this game, treating it like our final and finishing our season with a win.”
England coach Eddie Jones made it clear he was prepared for any tactic Australia chose to employ after the Wallabies were criticised for lack of variety in their attack in the second Test loss.
“What Australia does we’ll cope with, whatever they want to do,” Jones said.
“If they want to kick, if they want to run, if they want to play side-to-side, we’ll handle it.”
With his team selection, Jones showed how serious he was about completing the first three-match clean sweep of the Wallabies on home soil since South Africa achieved the feat in 1971.
Even with the series won, he made just one change forced by an injury.
He chose to replace outstanding openside flanker James Haskell with New Zealand-born Teimana Harrison, who has won just one cap last month against Wales.
“I’d seen him before Christmas and I must say I wasn’t impressed,” Jones said.
“But he must have had a good turkey or something at Christmas, because he changed and became an influential player in the Northampton side.
“Strong carries, good tackles, high work rate, a bit of mongrel about him – impressive.”