Twickenham start as big as Bledisloe for Maddocks

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Jack Maddocks rates a Twickenham start as big as any game he has played, including his August Bledisloe Cup debut.

This weekend won’t be Maddocks’ first trip to the hallowed stadium - he was part of the Wallabies’ Spring Tour squad as a development player last year.

Even being on the sideline that day - a 30-6 loss for the Wallabies - was an experience that stuck with the 21-year-old back.

A year on from that, he feels like he is about to have his first Test all over again.

“That (England-Australia game) was actually a day which I think I'll remember forever being my first time at Twickenham,” he said.

‘I just remember the atmosphere.

“It was one of those moments where it really hits you and i was just like "Wow" I was blown away.

“So, to be able to start here is pretty amazing. My first game was against New Zealand, that's a huge game -  but to me England is just as big if not bigger with all the sports that we play, whether it be the Ashes or that sort of stuff, there's so much history there so to be able to represent Australia against England in a game like this.

“I'm certainly very excited and I guess even though I've played a few games now, it sort of does feel a bit like my debut because playing here is something else.”

Maddocks will be part of a rejigged back three with Israel Folau returning to fullback and Dane Haylett-Petty on the wing and said he was confident they could field the expected high ball peppering coming their way.

“Yeah I guess that's their tactics most weeks so I don't see any reason why it'd be different but I'm confident in myself firstly to be able to withstand that and then obviously Dane and Israel are probably two of the best in the whole world at it,” he said.

“So, we're confident we'll be sweet with it.”

The Wallabies were left with plenty of frustrations after that 2017 Twickenham encounter, with England scoring three tries in the final 10 minutes to blow the score out.

It’s a finish that prop Sekope Kepu still remembers vividly and the 32-year-old wants to make sure they don’t finish 2018 with the same feeling.

“You look back at last year, so close yet so far, and the boys have prepared really, really well this week and I think we've got a good balance,” he said.

“It's our last game so we'll be throwing everything at it, so everything and I mean everything.

“Just trying to bottle that feeling and bring that excitement on Saturday.”

The Wallabies take on England at Twickenham on Saturday November 24, kicking off at 3pm local, Sunday 2am AEDT, LIVE on beIn Sports and SBS.