New England skills coach Glen Ella is a handy talent spotter and the former Australian assistant coach says he sees plenty of it in his new charges.
Ella met the English squad for the first time this week in his role as temporary skills coach and said it reminded him of a young Wallabies squad, that included names like Stephen Larkham and George Gregan.
“They’re similar to the Gregans, Larkhams who were coming through that system,” he said.
“I was with Rod Macqueen in 2000 and 2001 and then with Eddie 2003.
“You had the likes of [Matt] Giteau was coming into the system so they’re similar because they’re young, they want to learn and they want to be successful.”
England coach Jones has made no secret of the significance of this series, and the first Test particularly, and Ella said England owed it to Australian rugby to deliver on the hype.
“They’ve had Wales and France come here the last couple of years but they’ve not brought their best teams out here and the series have been really duds.
The anticipation’s been building for the last six months, since the World Cup. That anticipation hopefully that can equate to a really good series.
Ella said his goal was to help England shake the notion that northern Hemisphere teams are overly structures compared to their free-wheeling counterparts.
“That definitely is the perception down here and we want to prove that wrong. These guys are good, they’ve got great skills and they’re coming down here to test themselves basically and that’s they’re enjoying it," Ella said.
“That’s the challenge they want, that’s the challenge they need moving forward.
“Eddie’s mentioned in a couple of years they want to be the best team in the world, well they’ve got to play the southern hemisphere teams, that’s just the way it is.
"I've been impressed with the squad in general.
“Their work ethic is fantastic, they’re a young squad in general they want to learn and they want to win.
Giteau is one player Ella has had plenty to do with, but he said it was the right decision not to call him up for the June Test series, despite the current inside centre dilemma the Wallabies have now.
“I think he’s made the right decision not to bring him back here,” he said.
“You need to move forward and you’ve got to look for the next World Cup in ‘19 in Japan and you just can’t rely on those guys.
“You presume you’ve got a lot of talent in Australia you’ve got to start using that talent.”