Eddie Jones is going to take all sorts of flak after England’s defeat by a 14-man Australia side.
It comes with the job, but any talk of him being sacked is ridiculous. I don’t agree with many of the decisions Jones makes — far from it, especially all the rhetoric and gimmicks.
They are not helping Jones or his side. Do your talking on the pitch and never criticise the referee, especially when your team has not fired a shot in anger.
Eddie Jones needs to start talented youngster Henry Arundell when England face Australia
Jones needs to stop focusing on referees and concentrate on making some big selection calls
MY ENGLAND XI FOR THE SECOND TEST
Steward; May, Freeman, Farrell (capt), Arundell; Smith, Van Poortvliet; Genge, George, Stuart; Itoje, Lawes; Curry, B Vunipola, Underhill.
But Jones still has to be backed now to turn both this series and England’s World Cup preparations around. Jones needs to start to really listen to people who understand international rugby. I really do mean listen.
This week is a huge opportunity for Jones and England. It’s knockout rugby. Jones has to go for broke. It’s time for him to play all his cards and make some big selection calls.
As I’ve repeatedly said, Jones is not a great selector and the amount of talent available to him has made him more confused. The way the England team has been picked since the 2019 World Cup has been utterly confusing.
Jones is also not good at admitting mistakes, but there is nothing to lose this weekend because if England are beaten in Brisbane, the series is gone. So there is no point dying wondering.
It is in the back-line where I would make big changes. There is not much wrong with England’s pack, but behind the scrum we have to inject some pace.
Henry Arundell has to start, 100 per cent. He has speed in abundance and his try in the first Test was superb. He starts on the wing in my team for the second match.
I’d bring Tommy Freeman into outside centre. He is uncapped, but he had a strong game at full back in the horror show pre-tour defeat by the Barbarians.
We’re not sure of his best position yet, but with a lack of talent in the centre he has to be given his chance. Freeman has speed to burn and that’s what England and Jones need if they are to beat Australia.
Uncapped Tommy Freeman should be brought into outside centre for the clash in Brisbane
I’m not convinced Jack Nowell is England’s best winger – Ollie Hassell-Collins is a good option
Freddie Steward is an outstanding full back so stays in that position. Jonny May could be a wing option if he has recovered from Covid.
I’m still not convinced Jack Nowell is England’s best winger and I would have had Ollie Hassell-Collins, who is way ahead of Nowell and May. Hassell-Collins, like Adam Radwan, isn’t on tour. They are no doubt sunning themselves in Portugal instead.
I’d also start Jack van Poortvliet at scrum-half and not just because he scored at the death in Perth. I’ve liked Van Poortvliet since I first saw him at Leicester.
There is no way Jones will move away from Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell at 10 and 12, but this is where he has got himself into a hole. There isn’t anyone else to pick at 12.
Guy Porter and Fraser Dingwall are options and Porter was on the bench in the first Test, but they are rookies. It’s such a crucial position.
Jack van Poortvliet should start at scrum-half – he has often made an impact for Leicester
It’s difficult to blood a new player there, especially when there are other inexperienced players around you. Jones needs to be brave and select Van Poortvliet, Arundell and Freeman. In fact, it is not brave. It is common sense.
These guys might be young, but they will bring speed and that critical X-Factor to the back-line. That was the difference in Perth. Even after suffering three injuries and losing Darcy Swain to a red card, Australia still looked dangerous in attack.
They scored a fine try through Jordan Petaia while a man light. England never looked like doing that. Jones and his men have their backs to the wall. Brisbane is going to be very tough. The Australians are strong there.
I always say that if you have a team capable of beating New Zealand in Dunedin, Australia in Brisbane and South Africa in Bloemfontein, then you are in a very strong position.
Are England good enough to do that? That is why there is no point in sticking when there is the option to twist.
Jones must deploy Courtney Lawes at lock and not six in the game against Australia
In the pack Courtney Lawes has to play at lock and not six. I’m not sure Jonny Hill should be in the team even if he has escaped a citing and a ban after pulling Swain’s hair.
If Tom Curry is fit for the second Test after his head injury assessment in the first match, I’d have him, Sam Underhill and Billy Vunipola in the back-row.
That trio started the 2019 World Cup final. Curry and Underhill were dubbed the ‘Kamikaze Kids’ in Japan.
Together they tore around pitches in the Far East, but nearly three years on Jones’ side look a long way away from reaching such heights.
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