Australia v England: Eddie Jones’s side prepared for ‘hurt animals’ in Sydney
Eddie Jones’s men made impressive starts in the first and second Tests, and even amassed a 17-0 lead in Brisbane that laid the foundation for a 25-17 victory to set up the high-stakes clash at Sydney Cricket Ground.
George insists it is no secret the Wallabies will be targeting one key area for improvement – and that England will meet them head on in their quest to become the first team to lift the Ella-Mobbs Cup.
“You almost don’t need to talk about the reaction from them. It’s pretty obvious. If the other team go 17-0 up then what are you going to talk about? Starting better. It doesn’t take a genius to work that out,” George said.
“We know they’re going to take it up a notch, but we almost want that in a way because when teams ramp it up a bit we tend to step up too. Fingers crossed.
“It’s about knowing that you need to be at your best. We know (head coach) Dave Rennie and (captain) Michael Hooper are going to be pumping those guys up, making sure they come out firing. Steam coming out of their ears. No problem.
“We need to be aware that they’re a hurt animal. We experienced a loss in the first Test and we know how it feels. We know the reaction it invokes, so we don’t worry ourselves too much with that. We know that’s going to be the case so how do we make sure we come up with the same start, if not better?”
England are drawing inspiration from an unexpected source for Saturday’s Sydney showdown after being enthralled by the State of Origin decider.
The whole touring party gathered on Wednesday to watch Queensland edge New South Wales on a night of high drama at Suncorp Stadium that has dominated the sporting headlines Down Under.
It left a major impression on Owen Farrell, England’s inside centre and the son of former Great Britain and Wigan captain Andy Farrell.
“That’s one of the best games of rugby I’ve ever seen. Ever. The intensity... I know it was brutal in large parts, but the intensity that was played at...” Farrell said.
“Some of the sheer grit that was shown but also the tactical nous – when to kick early, when to put the pressure on – but also who held their nerve for the longest.
“Everyone was gripped, everyone was on the edge of their seats. I’ve always loved watching Origin but that was up there as one of the best games ever.
“It was inspiring. You feel like you could play then. Being in Australia, feeling a bit of the atmosphere that’s going round having been to the second game, and from myself growing up watching it, I probably felt a bit closer to it and for that game to finish off like it did... I loved it.
“I watched it as a fan, first and foremost. But at the same time you talk about it after with each other and you try and take what you can from it. I felt like shouting and screaming watching that, it was awesome.”
Australia captain Hooper, meanwhile, insists the Wallabies are determined to do themselves justice for the first time in their series against England.
“We’re a resilient bunch. We’ve been able to get ourselves back into both games, winning the first one and getting close last weekend,” Hooper said. “We want a more complete game. We don’t think we’ve played as well as we can. We think we’re a better team than what we’ve shown so far and that’s hugely exciting for us. Our motivation is to put that out there and show that to the crowd. What we’ve learned about England is that they’re tough, hard, physical opponents, good at the set piece, and can really grind you.They apply scoreboard pressure consistently throughout the game.”
Australia claim that England have baited them during the first two Tests.
“It’s been competitive. It’s been enjoyable. I think both teams just want to win and you’ll get the chance to see that on Saturday,” Hooper added.