Eddie Jones
Will Jones still be smiling at the end of the three-test series? Getty Images

Australia and England face off in the first of a three-match series for the first time in their international history, starting at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Michael Chieka's side were runners-up at the Rugby World Cup last September, while Eddie Jones is leading a revitalised England side after their grand slam and Six Nations triumph in the spring.

Where to watch

Australia vs England kicks off at 11am BST on Saturday 11 June. In the United Kingdom, live coverage is available on both Sky Sports 1 HD and BBC Radio 5 Live.


England will attempt to stage a complete turnaround in their rugby fortunes when they face Australia in the first of a three-match Test series in Brisbane on Saturday 11 June. Eddie Jones has guided the team from World Cup humiliation on home soil to the Six Nations Championship and the grand slam, but faces the greatest test of his tenure back on home turf.

Jones has been a breath of fresh air for England since taking over from Stuart Lancaster, returning the country to a simple brand of rugby based on set-piece accuracy and scrum power. That strategy will be tested to its fullest against an Australia team fresh from reaching the World Cup final last October.

Michael Cheika
Cheika must build on Australia's successful World Cup with three international debutants. Getty

Michael Chieka inspired a minor miracle last autumn when he took a Wallabies team in disarray and went to within 80 minutes of the greatest prize in world rugby. Australia matched world number ones New Zealand stride-for-stride at Twickenham until the brilliant Dan Carter pulled the All Blacks clear late on.

Chieka – who has refused to become involved in verbal jousting ahead of the series – must now prove that such heroics were not a one-off thing, and if Australia are to provide a threat in the Rugby Championship they must surely swat England away without alarm.

The three-match series, the first contested between the pair in their rugby history, may also prove crucial ahead of the draw for the 2019 World Cup, which will take place in 11 months time. The four top seeds for the draw will be taken from the world rankings, which currently have Australia second and England fourth, and Jones' side will would be well-advised to cement or even improve on their position if they wish to avoid a difficult pool such as that that befell them last year.

Marland Yarde
Yarde returns to the England team ahead of Exeter's Jack Nowell Getty Images


Australia: 15. Israel Folau; 14. Dane Haylett-Petty, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Samu Kerevi, 11. Rob Horne; 10. Bernard Foley, 9. Nick Phipps; 1. Scott Sio, 2. Stephen Moore, 3. Greg Holmes, 4. Rory Arnold, 5. Rob Simmons, 6. Scott Fardy, 7. Michael Hooper, 8. David Pocock.

Replacements: 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17. James Slipper, 18. Sekope Kepu, 19. James Horwill, 20. Dean Mumm, 21. Sean McMahon, 22. Nick Frisby, 23. Christian Lealiifano

England: 15. Mike Brown; 14. Anthony Watson, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Luther Burrell, 11. Marland Yarde; 10. Owen Farrell, 9. Ben Youngs; 1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Dylan Hartley, 3. Dan Cole, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. George Kruis, 6. Chris Robshaw, 7. James Haskell, 8. Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: 16. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17. Matt Mullan, 18. Paul Hill, 19. Joe Launchbury, 20. Courtney Lawes, 21. Danny Care, 22. George Ford, 23. Jack Nowell.


Australia 25 wins; England 18 wins; Draws: One

Michael Hooper
Michael Cheika is set to pair natural openside flankers Michael Hooper and David Pocock in Australia's back row once again. Getty

What the coaches say

Michael Chieka: "Obviously they'll have a lot of belief behind them after the Six Nations. My view is that the English team we played at the World Cup was a very good team. I just think a couple of things didn't work out for them and the margins are so fine.

"A lot of the people are the same and they're doing very well now. They are Grand Slam champions and the best team in Europe, coming down to the Southern Hemisphere with eyes on being No 1 in the world. I think that is logical.

Eddie Jones: "We had some ideas on how we'll play Australia. We looked at various sorts of permutations and we've come up with a team as the best way we think we can beat Australia. The whole thing is we've got to do something different here.

"We can't do what's been done for previous English teams - we've got to have a different mind-set. We've got to have a different way of how we play the game against Australia. To change history we've got that opportunity on Saturday night.

"The game's going to go to a different level on Saturday night. Australia is going to be absolutely rampant. This is the first Test they've played with expectations on them and knowing Cheik, we know what their team is going to come out and do – we know they're going to be absolutely breathing fire."