England not short on creativity

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Wallabies are expecting creativity from a strong England team, when the two meet at Twickenham on Sunday morning (AEDT).

England played out what coach Eddie Jones described as a ‘grindathon’ against Argentina, in a 21-8 victory last weekend, but Wallabies back Kurtley Beale has seen up close how creative the English can be when given the right opportunity.

Usual playmaker Owen Farrell was rested against the Pumas, along with superstar forward Maro Itoje, but looks set to return for their biggest clash of the November series.

Beale, who spent the last season playing for English side, Wasps, said set piece was still a cornerstone of the northern game, but the individuals within it were able to bring a different element.

“I think they base their game around that (set piece) but you have to look at the individuals, your (Ben) Youngs’s, your (George) Fords, your (Owen) Farrells,” he said.

“They are the creators in that team.

“You can see that when they have front-foot ball it makes it easier for those guys to decision make and pick the right option at the right time.

“They are a creative bunch that’s for sure.”

Beale’s Wasps played a more traditionally southern game in the Premiership, lighting up the competition with their expansive play, though the utility has given the competition credit for giving him more balance.

“I think Wasps play a very expansive game. The structure and the shape is pretty similar to back home,” he said.

“There is the same mindset of how we approach our footy back home.

“I think up here there is more of an emphasis on the set piece and how that can change a game and change momentum.

“Your kicking game is important to releasing pressure from your own half.

“Especially in Test match rugby, change of momentum by releasing pressure by kicking to the corners and having a solid set piece can have a huge impact on how the game turns out.”

England didn't do it easy against the Pumas. Photo: Getty ImagesBeale said England, who have won 20 of 21 Tests since Eddie Jones took over at the end of 2015, didn’t have an obvious chink in their armour.

“I  don’t think they have got any weaknesses,”he said.

“I think it is important that we approach each game by having a huge focus on ourselves and make sure we have the detail right and the right mindset to go out there and back our game.

“That’s going to be a huge focus point for us to worry about instead of worrying about what they bring.”

Backrower Ned Hanigan, who is likely to play his first game at Twickenham this weekend, said he was looking forward to the set piece battle.

“That go-forward ball they look for, the quick rucks and three guys who Kurtley has been talking about (Youngs, Ford, Farrell) the side relies upon,” he said.

“They poke the forwards where they should be going. There are plenty of strengths there.”

Australia takes on England on Saturday November 18, kicking off at 3pm local, Sunday 2am AEDT, LIVE on beIN Sports and SBS.