Winning rugby will do for Jones

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

England coach Eddie Jones says they’ll play whatever style they have to in a bid for an Australian whitewash.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said earlier on Thursday he expected England to play a more expansive game in the final Test, but Jones said they wouldn’t be restricting themselves to a particular style.

“We play winning rugby. We want to win games of rugby, that's what keeps the fans excited,” he said.

“Whatever way we need to win, we'll win.

“If we need to kick the ball, we'll kick it, if we need to run, we'll run, if we need to pass, we'll pass.”

The Wallabies made three changes to England’s one, including adding playmaker Matt Toomua in at 12, but Jones said he was confident they could take Australia.

“I must admit I'm not really concerned how Australia want to play or how Australia think we're going to play,” he said.

“It's a mental challenge, it's a physical challenge and we've done everything this week to get ourselves prepared.

“What Australia does we'll cope with whatever they want to do.”

Teimana Harrison has worked his way into the starting XV. Photo: Getty ImagesJones said there was still improvement left in his side, with his charges desperate to learn from each match.

“We haven't played as well as we can,” he said.

“We're on a learning curve and every game we're going to learn from and this will be another opportunity for us to learn and get better.”

In-form flanker James Haskell will miss the match with a foot injury, giving Teimana Harrison a chance to start at openside, coming from outside the matchday 23.

Jones said “street fighter” Harrison would bring some extra aggression to the side for the final Test, after a late form surge in the Premiership.

“He played about 3-4 games after Christmas and I'd seen him before Christmas and  I must say, I wasn't impressed,” he said.

“I heard some raps on him but after Christmas, he must have had good turkey or something at Christmas, because he changed.

“He became an influential player in the Northampton sides.

“Strong carries, good tacklers, high work rate, a bit of mongrel about him. Impressive.”

Harrison comes into the starting side over incumbent backrow reserve Jack Clifford, in what Jones said was about picking the player to have the best impact on the beginning or end of the game.