Fly-half George Ford has warned that Australia’s potent backline will punish England should they produce a repeat of their uninspiring showing against Argentina during their clash with the Wallabies on Saturday.
England have won their previous four meetings with Australia since defeat at the 2015 World Cup at Twickenham, including a 3-0 whitewash on head coach Eddie Jones’s return to his homeland last summer.
Ford was frustrated by England’s inability to click into gear against the Pumas in their autumn opener, which they eventually won 21-8, and the 24-year-old believes there will be severe consequences for the Red Rose unless improvements are made.
“They’re lethal in the backs,” said Leicester’s No10 Ford. “They’ve got some really strong runners on the edges, and at No9 and No10, [Will] Genia and [Bernard] Foley really make them tick.
“They’ve some big carriers up front now who are physical and confrontational. They’re a lot more confrontational in attack, trying to get over the gainline first before going to the edges.
“Then they’ve got the right people to get the ball into space. That’s where they’re pretty dangerous in attack. We’ll be aware and have a good understanding of that, but also focus on ourselves and make sure we get better at what we do.”
Jones is set to name his matchday party today, having dropped Saracens lock George Kruis, team-mate Alex Lozowski and prop Ellis Genge while trimming his squad to 25 on Tuesday.