Series winners England will seek to inflict a humiliating whitewash on old rivals Australia this weekend as they meet in the final match of an eventful three-Test tour at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

Where to watch

Australia vs England kicks off at 11am BST on Saturday 25 June. In the United Kingdom, live coverage is available on both Sky Sports 1 HD and BBC Radio 5 Live.


How quickly things can change in the fickle world of modern sport. In October 2015, England were peering into the rugby union abyss after consecutive defeats to Wales and Australia at Twickenham saw them suffer the ignominy of becoming the very first nation ever to be eliminated from a home World Cup at the pool stage.

Fast forward eight months and their fortunes have changed markedly. With the strictly methodical Stuart Lancaster resigning and replaced by straight-talking Eddie Jones, the team ended their 13-year wait for a Six Nations Grand Slam in March and have sustained that momentum by clinching a historic first series victory on Australian soil.

A run of nine consecutive wins is testament to the new-found confidence, aggression, resilience and sheer intensity installed by a successful coach who does not suffer fools gladly.

Owen Farrell
Owen Farrell notched a try and kicked 13 points during memorable victory in Melbourne David Rogers/Getty Images

But England will be desperate to ensure that their swift renaissance does not end there. While some might bill Saturday's clash as nothing more than a dead rubber, the chance to secure an embarrassing whitewash over an old rival should act as a major incentive for the players not to drop their performance levels.

Jones has made only one change to his squad for the third Test, with James Haskell suffering a foot problem during a 23-7 win in Melbourne last weekend that was characterised by a quite ferocious, rope-a-dope defensive effort from the visitors. His place at openside flanker will be taken by Teimana Harrison, the New Zealand-born Northampton Saints back row who was only handed his senior international debut against Wales in May. Wing Jack Nowell remains in the starting XV despite a recent head injury and the six-two split between replacement forwards and backs remains.

As for Australia, winners of the 2015 Rugby Championship and beaten World Cup finalists, Michael Cheika resorts to sheer physicality in his quest to avoid another humiliating loss. Leicester Tigers-bound centre Matt Toomua replaces Samu Kerevi at 12 following a knee issue, while towering ball-carrier Will Skelton returns to the second row for the first time since being injured at the World Cup. He will be partnered by the recalled Rob Simmons as Sam Carter and Rory Arnold both drop out.

Matt Toomua and Will Skelton
Matt Toomua and Will Skelton both return as Michael Cheika swaps three AFP/Getty Images

Cheika has been forced in the build-up to this game to deny mischievous claims made by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen that his passiveness in the face of the usual cunning tactics from Jones has seen him be "bullied" in the media. The 49-year-old described such a view as "shallow" and has further insisted that the Wallabies will not abandon their commitment to attacking, running rugby despite those recent defeats.


Australia: 15. Israel Folau; 14. Dane Haylett-Petty, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Matt Toomua, 11. Rob Horne; 10. Bernard Foley, 9. Nick Phipps; 1. James Slipper, 2. Stephen Moore, 3. Sekope Kepu, 4. Will Skelton, 5. Rob Simmons, 6. Scott Fardy, 7. Michael Hooper, 8. Sean McMahon.

Replacements (one to be omitted): 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17. Scott Sio, 18. Greg Holmes, 19. Adam Coleman, 20. Dean Mumm, 21. Wycliff Palu, 22. Nick Frisby, 23. Christian Lealiifano, 24. Taqele Naiyaravoro.

England: 15. Mike Brown; 14. Anthony Watson, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Owen Farrell, 11. Jack Nowell; 10. George Ford, 9. Ben Youngs; 1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Dylan Hartley, 3. Dan Cole, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. George Kruis, 6. Chris Robshaw, 7. Teimana Harrison, 8. Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: 16. Jamie George, 17. Matt Mullan, 18. Paul Hill, 19. Joe Launchbury, 20. Courtney Lawes, 21. Jack Clifford, 22. Danny Care, 23. Elliot Daly.

Teimana Harrison
Teimana Harrison will win his second senior England cap at openside flanker David Rogers/Getty Image


Australia 25 wins; England 20 wins; One draw

What the coaches say

Michael Cheika: "This Saturday's match against England is a real opportunity for the Wallabies to show the character I know they have on the field, for all our fans to see. We will continue to play rugby in our attacking style and we'll be aiming to do it with more consistent quality than we have in the first two matches."

Eddie Jones: "We've treated this week like a dress rehearsal for the World Cup because that what we're always building towards. To win a World Cup you have to win three big games in a row – we've won two so this third game is the most important game we'll play all year. It will be a good indication of where we are as a team. We're looking forward to playing in front of a full house at Allianz Stadium on Saturday and we are confident we can finish the job off with a win."