Australia captain Stephen Moore has welcomed England’s promise of an all-out assault at Suncorp Stadium this morning.
England’s Aussie coach Eddie Jones has invoked the “Bodyline” Ashes cricket series of 1932-33 – in which England defeated Australia by playing a controversial style of cricket – to inspire his Grand Slam champions during the three-match series.
“Test rugby is physical, probably more so than Super Rugby, we know the importance of that, we’ve prepared for that and we want to make sure that part of our game is solid,” Moore said.
“That is one part of the game, but it is an important one. Eddie’s always been a great fan of cricket, which is, I guess, why he used that analogy.”
The most recent meeting between the rivals was at last autumn’s World Cup when Australia left Twickenham with a record 33-13 victory that knocked England out of the tournament they were hosting.
A feature of the game was the Wallabies’ unexpected supremacy at the scrum, but hooker Moore refuses to use that night as a reference point.
“It’s a long time ago now. A lot has happened since then and we’ve got to reset the bar,” Moore said.
“We haven’t played together as a front row yet this year so this is our first opportunity to get out there and show what it means to us.
“We’ve worked hard on that part of the game as we did last year. We know how important it is in Test level.
“I think we did a lot of work on that part of our game last year to get to a point but didn’t get what we wanted to.”
England, meanwhile, are ready to deal with the threat posed by “Three Storey Rory” in today’s clash.
The Wallabies will give Brumbies second-row giant Rory Arnold his debut in only his second professional season in the hope his 6ft 10in, 19-stone frame will disrupt an England lineout which excelled throughout the RBS Six Nations.
England scrum coach Neal Hatley has revealed that a special plan has been drawn up to negate the tallest Wallaby of all time.
“Arnold poses a definite threat. We’ve watched some of the clips from him from the Currie Cup in South Africa all the way through to the Brumbies,” Hatley said. “It’s going to be hard work to negate him, but we’ve put things in place that hopefully will be able to sort that out.”
Hatley also insisted that Jones’ declaration that his side will play “Bodyline” rugby over the three Tests extends to the initial collision of the rival front rows at the set scrum.
“We’ve worked ridiculously hard. It’s going to be confrontational and that’s what it’s about in international rugby, especially at the set piece,” said Hatley, who reported a clean bill of health for the first Test.
“We’ll have to be unbelievably tough and hopefully that will set the platform for what’s to come after that.
“We will have a tough and uncompromising approach. Bodyline for us is about changing what we do and presenting a different picture.”