Australia coach Michael Cheika ramps up the pressure on England as Eddie Jones’ side are given a week of recovery ahead of their crunch Rugby World Cup quarter final
- England’s Pool C game with France was called off due to bad weather conditions
- The game’s cancellation gives them a week to prepare for the Australia clash
- Michael Cheika has said Eddie Jones’ side ‘better win’ in the quarter final game
- England have a perfect record against Australia under their Australian coach
Australia coach Michael Cheika heaped pressure on England on Friday night – insisting they should be expected to win next Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final in Oita, after being given an unexpected week off.
The Wallabies concluded their Pool D campaign by labouring to a 27-8 win over Georgia in Shizuoka on Friday night – and they will be officially confirmed as England’s opponents in the last eight once Wales have completed the formality of beating Uruguay in Kumamoto on Sunday.
Eddie Jones’s national team will have a long build-up to the match after their clash with France was cancelled, due to the impending arrival of Typhoon Hagibis, and Cheika couldn’t resist taking a shot at his side’s next opponents.
Michael Cheika has ramped up his war or words with England ahead of their quarter final clash
Cheika said Eddie Jones’ side ‘better win’ after the England coach’s previous bold statements
Asked about the extended English rest period, Australia’s head coach said: ‘Well, I saw he (Jones) was saying that that would be an advantage and the typhoon gods were smiling on him.
‘So I suppose they’d better win. They’ve had the best preparation according to the coach, so they’d better go out there and win, if that’s the best possible preparation. We’ll see how we go.’
Since Jones took charge of England, they have maintained a perfect record against the Wallabies.
England have left Tokyo for Miyazaki as Typhoon Hagibis approaches the southeast of Japan
Six times his team have taken on his compatriots and six times they have beaten them, with the highlight being a 3-0 series whitewash Down Under in June 2016. However, when pressed on that bad-omen record, Cheika said: ‘I don’t know the relevance of it.
‘I don’t really care, to be honest because the only relevance is Saturday. That’s pretty much about it. It doesn’t matter, all those different things; who’s had a week off, who’s had a week on, who’s been resting, who hasn’t. It’s going to come down to who is ready at kick-off.’
England are regrouping here in the far south of Japan after evacuating Tokyo once they had learned that ‘Le Crunch’ was off – and prior to the arrival of the incoming, ‘violent’ super typhoon which is expected to cause widespread devastation.
On Saturday, Jones’s squad will return to training and he is hopeful that most of his 31 players will be available to take part.
Billy Vunipola is attempting to recover hurriedly after twisting his ankle in the bonus-point win over Argentina a week ago.
England have a perfect record against the Wallabies since Jones took over as their coach
The Saracens No 8 was unlikely to feature against France, but the England management will be desperate for him to regain full fitness in time to lead the ball-carrying charge against Australia. His participation must be considered in doubt, pending further updates.
Joe Marler and Jack Nowell are the other two members of the Red Rose squad who were unable to take part in training last week, while captain Owen Farrell was struck down by illness, but had come through it and was expected to start against France, before the fixture was dramatically called off.
Meanwhile, Jones has caused a stir in Australia by inviting Canberra Raiders rugby league coach Ricky Stuart into the England camp for quarter-final week.
Although Stuart has explained that the collaboration will allow him to gain insight from an experienced coaching figure in the 15-man code, there is concern Down Under that he will also provide insight which will aid the English cause against his countrymen.
A thumping 3-0 series win Down Under in 2016 was the pick of the bunch for the Red Roses
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