Moody urges England to seize chance Down Under

ENGLAND captain Lewis Moody has challenged his players to etch their names into rugby folklore by beating Australia in Perth today.

England have only ever beaten the Wallabies on Australian soil twice in their history – in June of 2003 and then again five months later to win the Rugby World Cup. Every venture to the southern hemisphere since that November night in Sydney has ended in defeat, including three Tests on the bounce against the Wallabies.

"We know the Australians are an incredibly tough side to beat, especially over here," said Moody, who came off the bench to win the vital lineout that led to Jonny Wilkinson's drop goal in the World Cup final.

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"We've only beaten them twice in our history, it's a tough challenge and the boys know that. If you don't get enough motivation from that, then you never will. The excitement in the camp is huge and now the players are desperate to get out there and give it our all. Now it's up to us to perform."

Australia are suffering an injury crisis that has robbed them of a first-choice front row and star inside centre Matt Giteau – but Moody was not understating the size of the challenge. England have managed eight victories in 19 Tests under Martin Johnson, with only one of those coming on foreign soil, against Italy in the Six Nations. But they head into the Cook Cup showdown on the back of a promising performance against France in Paris and Moody added: "We are trying to build on what we achieved in the French game," said Moody. "We came a long way in that game and we need to keep that momentum."

&149 South Africa vice-captain Victor Matfield has warned his side that the battle of the breakdown will be crucial when they face France in Cape Town today.

The Springboks host the Six Nations champions at Newlands on the back of their 34-31 win against Wales in Cardiff last weekend, and Bulls second row Matfield is expecting another stern examination.

"Everyone always talks about the French flair, but they are also a very physical side," said Mooday. "Their basics are very good and they are good at the breakdown – we'll have to be at the top of our game and compete there."

Australia J O'Connor (Western Force); D Ione (Queensland Reds), R Horne (NSW Waratahs), B Barnes (NSW Waratahs), D Mitchell (NSW Waratahs); Q Cooper (Queensland Reds), L Burgess (NSW Waratahs); B Daley (Queensland Reds), S Faingaa (Queensland Reds), S Ma'afu (ACT Brumbies), D Mumm (NSW Waratahs), N Sharpe (Western Force), R Elsom (ACT Brumbies, capt), D Pocock (Western Force), R Brown (Western Force). Substitutes: H Edmonds (ACT Brumbies), J Slipper (Queensland Reds), M Chisholm (ACT Brumbies), M Hodgson (Western Force), W Genia (Queensland Reds), P Hynes (Queensland Reds), K Beale (NSW Waratahs).

England B Foden (Northampton); M Cueto (Sale Sharks), M Tindall (Gloucester), S Hape (Bath), C Ashton (Northampton); T Flood (Leicester), D Care (Harlequins); T Payne (Wasps), S Thompson (Brive), D Cole (Leicester), S Shaw (Wasps), T Palmer (Stade Francais), T Croft (Leicester), L Moody (Leicester, capt), N Easter (Harlequins). Substitutes: G Chuter (Leicester), D Wilson (Bath), C Lawes (Northampton), J Haskell (Stade Francais), B Youngs (Leicester), J Wilkinson (Toulon), M Tait (Sale Sharks).

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