Jones expecting frosty reception

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Eddie Jones’s bags were inspected extra carefully on his way into Brisbane airport and the former Wallabies coach expects a frosty reception to continue through the series.

Jones and his England team touched down in Brisbane early on Thursday morning, ahead of the June 11 Test opener, greeted by a handful of hardy English fans

When asked how he expected to be treated by Aussie fans, Jones pointed to his customs experience.

“I just went through immigration and I got shunted through the area where everything got checked so that’s what I'm expecting,” he said.

England has never won a Test in Brisbane but Jones said a first-up victory would be the ultimate barometer for the series, their first three-match tour of Australia.

“The first Test sets the tone for the rest of the series,” he said.

“We see that as an opportunity to put down the marker in the first Test.

“Suncorp’s been a favourite ground for Australia but it has lost a couple of games here recently so that provides an opportunity for us.”

Jones didn’t miss throwing out a few barbs to his counterpart, Michael Cheika, as well as the assembled media.

“He’s been very quiet. It’s a new Cheika we’re facing at the moment. I’m sure the old one will come out,” he said.

Though, he did agree with Cheika that no amount of mud slinging would determine the outcome of the Tests.

“He’s 100% right, it’s the two teams on the field,” he said.

“Australia (is) second in the world, (they have) the best coach in the world, they’re playing in their own backyard. 

“They’re going to be strong favourites for the tour.

“Our record in Australia is three Tests since Captain Cook arrived, so it’s not a great record is it?”

He was quick to throw some shade on the media as well, suggesting there would be a “coordinated” effort to help the Wallabies win.

“I think the one thing I understand is that Australians are going to be very physical, they’re going to be very aggressive and everything that’s done around the game is going to be coordinated, all coordinated to help Australia win,” he said.

“So, we’ve got to be good enough to control what we can control, not worry about the things we can’t control and be prepared to play very physical aggressive rugby.

“You guys should know, you’re all part of it. It’s well done here, very well done here.”