Aussies to fight till the end

SYDNEY • Australia must give their world-class wide-ball runners one-on-one situations against English defenders if they are to give themselves the best chance of avoiding a rugby series sweep, Wallabies forward Michael Hooper said yesterday.

The hosts lost the first two Tests despite dominating possession as England's dogged defence held out against wave after wave of attacks in Brisbane and Melbourne.

While those defeats have left today's third Test at the Sydney Football Stadium a dead rubber, Hooper said the Wallabies were determined to go out with a performance.

"The intent's been there, I can't fault the intent," he said. "Last week, we ran ourselves into the ground and the English, to their credit, defended very well.

"They had two men on our ball runners. You get some of our ball runners and attacking players out wide one-on-one, they won't stop them. We've got some of the best in the world out there."

With a call-up for Matt Toomua at inside-centre, Australia will play with two first receivers for the first time in the series, which should bring some variety to an attack that looked one dimensional in Melbourne.

However, England are determined not to let their collective foot off the gas.

"We just want to win 3-0, we've trained exceptionally hard as I'm sure the Aussies have," England's scrum coach Neal Hatley said.

"We want to be ruthless at every single opportunity we get so to go home 3-0 sounds a whole lot better than 2-1."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2016, with the headline 'Aussies to fight till the end'. Print Edition | Subscribe