England were defeated 30-28 by Australia in Saturday’s first Test in Perth. The Wallabies finally halted an eight-match losing run against their old enemies under Eddie Jones, despite a first-half red card for lock Darcy Swain for a headbutt on Jonny Hill that saw them contest much of the match with 14 men.
Jones’ side dominated a large portion of the second half and scored an opening try through Ellis Genge, but could not tack on the points necessary with a man advantage before Australia hit back - helped by Billy Vunipola’s yellow card - courtesy of tries from Jordan Petaia, Folau Fainga’a and Pete Samu.
Henry Arundell and Jack van Poortvliet registered last-gasp debut tries from the bench, but it was not enough for England to avoid a fourth successive loss as their miserable run of form continued ahead of further summer Tests on consecutive Saturdays in Brisbane and Sydney. Follow Australia vs England reaction live below!
Australia vs England highlights
TRY! Van Poortvliet also notches debut score
TRY! Arundell scores with first touch on debut
TRY! Samu scores again in Australia comeback
TRY! Fainga’a touches down after Vunipola yellow
TRY! Petaia strikes to put Wallabies in front
TRY! Genge goes over for England after maul
RED CARD! Swain sent off after Hill headbutt
Rennie: Swain was provoked
16:38 , George Flood
Meanwhile, Jones’ Australia counterpart Dave Rennie was pleased with his side’s reaction after the red card for Swain, whom he believes was consistently provoked before his sending off.
“I’m not sure if it was a team plan, but there was certainly provocation there. Not just in that situation but also earlier in the game,” Rennie said.
“We’ll have a decent look at the footage and work out how we’re going to appeal that. We’ll have decent look at the card. We’ll be seeking clarity around it.
“We train with the scenario of playing with 14 or 13 players all the time. What we know is that we just have to work harder. We found a way. We’re absolutely rapped with the character.”
Jones: We will turn things around
16:36 , George Flood
Jones also took responsibility for England’s woeful run of form in 2022 after a fourth straight loss today.
However, he vowed to turn things around with two more summer tests to come in Brisbane and Sydney before autumn matches against Argentina, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa.
“I’m disappointed that we’ve lost. The results aren’t good enough. I accept that and that’s my responsibility,” Jones said. “We’ll work hard to turn it around. We’ve got a committed group of players, a committed coaching group.
“We started the game well. We put ourselves in a position to win the game but we just weren’t quite good enough on the day to do that.”
Australia helped by referee after Swain red, says Jones
16:33 , George Flood
Eddie Jones believes New Zealand referee James Doleman looked to even things up after Darcy Swain’s first-half dismissal.
“You look at the history of the game, whenever you get a red card the referee evens it up. He helps the team with the red card,” Jones said.
“It’s social reciprocity, it happens, that’s normal and we’ve got to be good enough to handle it.
“That happens in every game of rugby I’ve seen. The team gets a red card and the opposition gets evened up. Because they’re nice blokes, referees.
“I’m not criticising the referees, I’m not using it as an excuse, that’s the reality of rugby.
“I’ll say it again. I think when you play against 14 men the referee has a significant impact on the game and you’ve got to be good enough to understand what that is.
“We weren’t good enough to understand what that is and therefore we paid the price.”
Michael Hooper reaction
14:21 , George Flood
“We came up with a lot of solutions, so I’m proud of the effort despite a lot of changes at the last minute,” Australia skipper Hooper said.
“You can’t script that stuff. You can have all those plans and then they go out the window. Our coaching staff did a great job of managing the game.”
Courtney Lawes reaction
14:19 , George Flood
“Full credit to Australia,” said the downbeat England captain. “We probably didn’t execute as well as we should have, and they finished their opportunities.”
Jones praises try-scoring debutants
14:16 , George Flood
“He (Arundell) is going to be a good player,” Jones added.
“If he can keep learning and keep working hard, he is going to be a special talent for us.
“JVP (Van Poortvliet) came on at half-back in his first Test and acquitted himself really well, so there are some positives to come out of a loss we are very disappointed in.”
Eddie Jones reaction
14:15 , George Flood
"We had enough moments in the game to win it,” England coach Eddie Jones told Sky Sports.
"At 14-9 with 20 minutes to go, we should have put that game away, and we didn't, so we are very disappointed in that.
"But the commitment from the players is that we have now got to win the series 2-1, so we will learn from this game.
"The message (at half-time) was to put more pressure on them, and we did that in spurts, but two or three times we were on their line and we didn't finish the movement off.
"Whenever Australia got in our 22 they finished their movement off."
14:14 , George Flood
England’s flawless record against Australia under Eddie Jones is over after they fell to a crushing 30-28 defeat in a remarkable Test series opener in Perth.
The tourists looked to be on course for a key victory at Optus Stadium to boost morale as they controlled much of the second half with a man advantage after Darcy Swain’s first-half sending off for headbutting fellow lock Jonny Hill.
However, despite Ellis Genge’s patient try, they were unable to turn that dominance into enough points as injury-plagued Australia staged a remarkable late comeback - helped by Billy Vunipola’s yellow card that evened up the numbers - with tries from Jordan Petaia, Folau Fainga’a and Pete Samu.
Henry Arundell and Jack van Poortvliet both came off the bench to register last-gasp debut tries for England, but it wasn’t enough as they lost by two points to continue a dismal run of form ahead of two further Tests on consecutive Saturdays to take place in Brisbane and Sydney.
It is the second time in as many games that England, now on a run of four consecutive losses under Jones, failed to make a man advantage count, having been embarrassed by the 14-man Barbarians at Twickenham last month.
13:06 , George Flood
Australia 30-28 England
TRY! Australia 30-28 England | Jack van Poortvliet 83'
13:06 , George Flood
83 mins: One of the most ridiculous finishes to a game of rugby that I’ve ever seen.
Lolesio goes to the bin for a deliberate knock-on and Arundell is almost in for his second try with the clock in the red!
England keep the pressure on and another debutant, Leicester scrum-half Van Poortvliet, applies the finishing touch instead.
Another successful conversion from Farrell ends the game.
Australia hold on to win 30-28. And breathe! What a second half.
TRY! Australia 30-21 England | Henry Arundell 80'
13:02 , George Flood
80 mins: I can’t keep up!
Henry Arundell - only on this tour as an ‘apprentice’ player who was not expected to be capped, remember - has just scored with his first touch in senior international rugby.
A trademark powerful break from the London Irish starlet, who races away down the left flank and finishes with aplomb.
Too late for England now, but a nice highlight nonetheless.
A quick conversion goes over from Farrell.
TRY! Australia 30-14 England | Pete Samu 78’
12:59 , George Flood
78 mins: From bad to worse for England!
Lolesio attacks with ball in hand and Kerevi powers into contact.
Australia keep picking it up quickly as they edge closer and closer to the line, with Samu eventually stepping off his right foot and going around Ludlam before touching down.
Another conversion made by Lolesio.
12:57 , George Flood
74 mins: Australia’s forwards take a victory lap after a superb squeeze sees them win another set-piece penalty.
Remember when the scrum was their constant Achilles heel against England?
Here come the Wallabies once more! England are floundering.
They had to put more points on the board while dominating with a man advantage.
But they didn’t and are now paying a huge price.
12:55 , George Flood
72 mins: England were straight onto the offensive after kick-off following that Fainga’a try, with Nowell launching them forward quickly.
But their latest attack crumbles near the line as a rejuvenated Wallabies defence holds firm.
What an incredible turnaround this has been from Australia, who are on course to end their eight-match losing run against England.
They haven’t beaten their old enemy since the 2015 World Cup.
TRY! Australia 23-14 England | Folau Fainga’a 69’
12:51 , George Flood
69 mins: This is pure nightmare fuel for England, who are reeling in Perth.
Steward makes a try-saving intervention as he scoops up a dangerous kick ahead of Petaia and takes the ball into touch.
It’s a clean Wallabies lineout, with England managing to disrupt their rolling maul and stop it before the line.
However, they don’t react to the second danger and substitute hooker Folau Fainga’a picks up and drives over.
Another key kick is then made by Lolesio. England suddenly trail by nine points having been dominant mere minutes ago.
Yellow card - Billy Vunipola (England)
12:47 , George Flood
67 mins: Crucially, it’s going to be 14 vs 14 for most of the remainder of this second half.
Billy Vunipola makes contact with the head during a tackle, with Will Stuart already engaged.
It’s mitigated by being deemed passive contact, but he’s still sent to the bin.
Another huge setback for England.
TRY! Australia 16-14 England | Jordan Petaia 64’
12:43 , George Flood
64 mins: Yes they can!
Wonderfully simple, incisive and powerful play from Australia, who feed substitute Jordan Petaia to go over for their first try, despite the best defensive efforts of Danny Care.
What a superb attack from the 14 men.
To make matters worse for England, Lolesio then puts over the conversion.
After being on the rack with a man less, suddenly Australia are back in front!
How will England respond?
12:40 , George Flood
61 mins: But don’t count out Australia yet!
That’s a tremendous take to beat Nowell in the air and they have a decent attacking platform. Can they exploit it?
Penalty! Australia 9-14 England | Owen Farrell 60'
12:37 , George Flood
60 mins: Australia, with a man less, simply cannot cope with this upping in physicality and tempo from England.
They duly give away another penalty, which Farrell puts through the posts with relief after a couple of misses wide left.
The gap widens. England now lead 14-9 with 20 minutes to play in this opening Test match in Perth.
12:35 , George Flood
56 mins: England are denied once again near the line, this time by some characteristically stellar breakdown play from Hooper.
The Wallabies captain gets his right arm underneath the ball and isn’t cleared out, wrenching it hard and getting the whistle.
Another try-saving intervention with England absolutely dominating proceedings now, but still only up two points.
A change in the front row from Jones, who replaces try-scorer Genge with Mako Vunipola.
12:32 , George Flood
53 mins: Australia are trying to fight back here, but they are severely hamstrung by the numerical disadvantage.
England have dialled up the physicality in this second half, with Lewis Ludlam playing like a man possessed since coming on at the break and smashing Koroibete there, with the latter whistled for not rolling away.
A try-saving tackle from Neville on Vunipola, who was trying to go for the finish in the corner.
The Wallabies are seriously under the pump now.
TRY! Australia 9-11 England | Ellis Genge 50'
12:26 , George Flood
50 mins: England scramble to save the first maul, have a penalty and kick for another lineout.
They get that maul driving again and negotiate an initial counter-push from Australia, with Genge breaking away and going over with a helping hand from Hill.
A tough Farrell conversion drifts wide of the left-hand post.
A fourth international try for Genge, with England rewarded for their patience there.
12:23 , George Flood
45 mins: Another Australian turnover after Marcus Smith charges forward and tries to inject some spark into a lethargic start to this second half from England.
A lucky bounce for Nowell there after a clever little diagonal grubber from Farrell.
England move forward and Koroibete makes another strong tackle on Lewis Ludlam, who replaced Tom Curry at half-time after the latter failed a HIA.
But he’s pinged for not rolling away and England kick for a lineout in a dangerous position.
Penalty! Australia 9-6 England | Noah Lolesio 43'
12:19 , George Flood
42 mins: Decent pressure from Australia to begin the second half, with England caught cold and Jack Nowell looks to have hurt himself.
They concede the penalty at the breakdown and Noah Lolesio steps up to give the Wallabies their first lead from the tee.
Hill is now back on for England, who won’t need reminding were battered by the Barbarians despite a man advantage at Twickenham last month.
Second half underway
12:16 , George Flood
Back off and running at the Optus Stadium!
Jonny Hill is due back for England in around a minute’s time.
Can they make their man advantage count?
Australia are the ones on the attack early in this second half...
Watch: Koroibete’s try-saving tackle
12:10 , George Flood
Not too many try-scoring chances in that first half despite the bruising, fast tempo, but this would have been a score for Joe Marchant were it not for a terrific Marika Koroibete tackle.
— Sky Sports Rugby Union (@SkySportsRugby) July 2, 2022
Watch: Swain sent off for Hill headbutt
12:04 , George Flood
Here’s the footage of that Swain/Hill dust-up. Neither player can have any complaints with their respective punishments.
Madness from Swain, who will now miss the rest of the series.
𝐑𝐄𝐃 𝐂𝐀𝐑𝐃! 🟥 Australia's Darcy Swain! ❌
There is some mutual hair pulling between Jonny Hill and Darcy Swain! England's Hill is sent to the sin bin and Australia's Swain is sent off for a 𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐃𝐁𝐔𝐓𝐓! ⤵️ #AUSvENG pic.twitter.com/MBpkwdlB6l
— Sky Sports Rugby Union (@SkySportsRugby) July 2, 2022
12:01 , George Flood
Australia 6-6 England
Penalty! Australia 6-6 England | Noah Lolesio 43'
12:00 , George Flood
43 mins: A nice, straight kick from Lolesio motors through the uprights with no issue.
It will be level pegging heading into the interval, though England with the obvious advantage after Swain’s red card.
11:59 , George Flood
40 mins: Australia boot for a lineout midway inside the England half with the clock in the red.
They will want to strike while it is still 14 vs 14.
That’s a super carry from Leota, who is cut down by Genge as Curry tries for the quick jackal.
But he wasn’t properly supporting his weight and Australia have the penalty, which will surely be made by Lolesio before the break.
11:56 , George Flood
38 mins: Back to the action, where Australia looked solid enough at another scrum but Itoje was lightning quick to get around and shut down Kerevi.
England attempt a training ground move that sees Farrell pop the ball off to Care, who can’t hold it and is then smoked by Kerevi.
He won’t thank his half-back partner for that hospital ball.
A scrappy end to this first half with both sides down to 14 men.
11:54 , George Flood
36 mins: So that’s Cooper, Banks and Alaalatoa all lost through injury for the Wallabies, with Swain now looking at a lengthy ban.
Problems mounting for Dave Rennie.
Red card - Darcy Swain (Australia)
11:51 , George Flood
35 mins: Australia are down to 14 men as Darcy Swain is indeed sent off for that stupid headbutt, despite his protestations and that of skipper Hooper.
It’s yellow for Hill for the hair pulling.
A huge turning point in this contest? It will be 14 vs 14 for the remainder of the first half, but England will have a crucial advantage after the interval...
11:50 , George Flood
32 mins: Play is stopped as the officials investigate a scrap between locks Darcy Swain and Jonny Hill, who have been at each other’s throats all game.
They went at it again there at the maul, with hair pulling, pushing, shirt pulling and then an apparent headbutt from Swain, which is going to land him in considerable trouble.
He’s going to be sent off here. Ugly scenes.
11:48 , George Flood
30 mins: Australia’s first sustained attack and run through the phases in the England 22 after a burst from Angus Bell and fine offload for No8 Rob Valetini.
England’s defence looks scrambled, but they quickly regather their composure and manage to drive the Wallabies back, but there’s a penalty for the hosts with Maro Itoje caught offside.
Michael Hooper points to the posts rather than opting for a kick to touch.
11:45 , George Flood
29 mins: England are keeping the ball well again, recycling it nicely through the hands and injecting more pace into another dangerous attack.
However, a fine hit from flanker Rob Leota stunts their momentum and the ball is eventually knocked on.
Farell misses penalty
11:42 , George Flood
27 mins: That’s very disappointing from Farrell, who will want that kick back.
He should have made that, but it misses wide left and Australia breathe a sigh of relief.
England will hope that doesn’t prove crucial to the outcome of this bruising contest.
11:40 , George Flood
25 mins: England are quickly back on the offensive, with Freddie Steward as fantastic under the high ball as always.
More great, strong carrying from Eddie Jones’ side, leading to another kickable penalty as Australia’s defence creaks.
Allan Alaalatoa was the man not rolling away, chiefly because he was looking very groggy indeed after a tackle.
He goes off gingerly, with the experienced James Slipper on. Three injuries and counting for the Wallabies.
Penalty! Australia 3-6 England | Noah Lolesio 23'
11:38 , George Flood
23 mins: England’s lead is reduced as Lolesio’s kick sails through.
11:37 , George Flood
22 mins: England are straight under the cosh from the restart, having to defend a scrum just outside their own 22.
Australia put on the squeeze and get the reward of a penalty, with a few scuffles ensuing.
This should be a straightforward kick for Noah Lolesio to get Australia on the board.
11:34 , George Flood
21 mins: The cart is out for Australia full-back Tom Banks, who landed horrifically on his shoulder/arm after challenging for an aerial ball.
This looks a bad injury and he’s in quite some pain, with play stopped.
Jordan Petaia is coming on. Another injury blow for Dave Rennie to contend with after Quade Cooper’s pre-match withdrawal.
Penalty! Australia 0-6 England | Owen Farrell 21'
11:31 , George Flood
21 mins: Simple enough for Farrell, who is now two for two from the tee.
England have made an impressive, pacey start and are keeping the scoreboard ticking.
11:30 , George Flood
19 mins: Wow!
It’s a superb line from Tom Curry, who is put through by Owen Farrell and then flights a perfect pass out to Joe Marchant.
Marchant looks to be in, only for a phenomenal, try-saving tackle from Marika Koroibete!
The ball is then lost, but an Australian defender has been whistled for not supporting his body weight at the breakdown.
Farrell to kick from the tee once more...
11:28 , George Flood
17 mins: This contest is being played at a fair old pace so far, with some heavy carries - including that from Billy Vunipola, who went for Samu Kerevi.
Possession is changing hands quickly, with phases and spells of pressure from both teams, but no composure and finishing touches just yet.
But here come England bursting through...
11:26 , George Flood
15 mins: The Aussie lineout is a touch ragged, but they get the penalty to kick to touch after Jonny Hill is pinged for not releasing.
Rennie’s men get quick ball of their own and turn up the heat, but it’s lost and England take possession.
Freddie Steward can’t get away, but they were playing advantage and it’s another chance for England to gain some decent territory.
11:24 , George Flood
13 mins: England are on the front foot and getting lots of good, quick ball, slamming into the Australian defence - with some great carrying and then deft hands from Jamie George out wide.
But that’s a terrific intervention from prop Angus Bell, who gets over the ball at the breakdown and earns a pressure-relieving penalty for Australia.
11:20 , George Flood
10 mins: Australia are stretching England now with ball in hand, leading to a penalty that is booted into touch on the edge of the visitors’ 22.
Maro Itoje then literally and bizzarely just screams as the Wallabies try to take the lineout, leading to an instant dressing down from the referee.
The ball goes loose as Australia try to get a rolling maul working, with accidental knock-ons aplenty.
That gives England the put-in at the scrum, with a penalty sealed as the Wallabies front row hits the deck.
11:18 , George Flood
8 mins: That’s real frustration for Australia as lock Darcy Swain gives away a needless penalty as they attempt to apply some pressure towards that England 22.
Penalty! Australia 0-3 England | Owen Farrell 7'
11:16 , George Flood
7 mins: No mistake from Farrell, who puts the tourists ahead.
It’s been a confident start from England in Perth.
11:15 , George Flood
5 mins: Excellent from England.
It was a great take from a testing kick from Lolesio, but the likes of Joe Cokanasiga, Tom Curry and Jamie George were ruthless and diligent in helping to secure the turnover.
Owen Farrell with the chance to give England an early lead from the tee.
11:14 , George Flood
4 mins: Eventually Australia are handed a free-kick as the scrum goes down again and Lolesio kicks 40-odd metres, with England then crashing forward with ball in hand and putting the Wallabies No10 under pressure with the high ball.
11:13 , George Flood
2 mins: A couple of decent early phases from England, but Australia defend the maul well following an opening lineout with Cadeyrn Neville prominent to ease the nerves on his debut.
The first scrum of the match inside the Aussie half takes multiple resets, with Nic White waiting to get the ball in.
11:10 , George Flood
Kiwi referee James Doleman blows his whistle and we are underway in the first Test in Perth!
Will England make it nine wins out of nine against Australia under Eddie Jones, or can the Wallabies take advantage of their rivals’ poor run of form?
Let’s find out...
11:08 , George Flood
We are running some way behind the listed kick-off time of 10:55am BST.
But now the anthems are underway, it shouldn’t be much longer!
The start of the first Test is imminent.
11:04 , George Flood
A rousing reception for the Wallabies on that long run out from the tunnel to the pitch.
Inspirational captain and breakdown master Michael Hooper is leading out Australia as normal on the occasion of his 119th senior cap.
Both sides are lined up for the pre-match pleasantries, which will include the national anthems.
11:02 , George Flood
The first Indigenous captain of the Wallabies, Mark Ella, brings forth the new Ella-Mobbs Cup, which has replaced the old Cook Cup.
It celebrates Ella and England and Northampton legend Edgar Mobbs.
Here come the tourists, led by Courtney Lawes today of course...
10:58 , George Flood
James O’Connor wasn’t included in the initial Australia squad today having missed large swathes of the club season through injury but is now promoted to the bench with Cooper out and Lolesio at fly-half.
The teams are about to emerge from the tunnel, after a spectacular light and pyrotechnic show at the Optus Stadium.
BREAKING: Cooper OUT as Lolesio starts
10:54 , George Flood
Confirmation that Quade Cooper has indeed been withdrawn from the Australian team with an ankle injury suffered during the warm-up.
Noah Lolesio starts instead.
A huge blow for the Wallabies.
10:49 , George Flood
Sky Sports are reporting that Quade Cooper may have suffered an ankle injury in the warm-up.
No official word yet that he’s out of the team, but he looked to be moving gingerly and was in discussions with head coach Dave Rennie.
It would be such a shame if we are denied that massive Cooper vs Smith battle here.
There is no James O’Connor in the Australia squad today either, remember.
Noah Lolesio would be the man to come in.
10:41 , George Flood
Final preparations at the Optus Stadium. Kick-off now less than 15 minutes away.
10:38 , George Flood
A reminder of how England line up in Perth today...
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) July 2, 2022
10:29 , George Flood
An early victory for England skipper Courtney Lawes, who wins the toss against Aussie counterpart Michael Hooper in the tunnel.
England will kick off this morning, with Australia opting to play from right to left in the first half.
Australia vs England head to head record
10:21 , George Flood
The overall head to head between these two old rivals is actually very close, with England having won 26 matches to Australia’s 25... with one draw.
But England have dominated this fixture under Jones, winning eight in a row including a famous series whitewash in 2016, four autumn victories and a triumph in the 2019 World Cup quarter-final in Oita.
The teams last met at Twickenham last November, when the hosts ran out 32-15 winners in a scrappy affair.
Australia have not beaten England since a terrific 33-13 win at a stunned Twickenham in October 2015 sealed the hosts’ dire early exit from the pool stages of the World Cup under Stuart Lancaster.
However, it is worth noting that the Wallabies tend to play well in this part of the country, having lost only one of their last eight games in Western Australia.
Key battles - The breakdown
10:12 , George Flood
All eyes will be on Billy Vunipola’s return to the back row, but if England are to have any success against Australia then they must keep Michael Hooper quiet.
The Wallabies captain is a master at the breakdown and his wealth of experience makes him a formidable opponent. Jones has opted to play Courtney Lawes at flanker and could come to regret not opting for someone more mobile, like Jack Willis or Sam Underhill.
Key battles - The scrum
09:59 , George Flood
England have historically had the upper hand against Australia when it comes to scrum time. They will hope that continues today, particularly as the Wallabies are without Taniela Tupou due to a calf injury.
Allan Alaalatoa will start in his place and come up against Ellis Genge, who is in fine form at the moment after firing Leicester Tigers to the Premiership title. England’s only blow is that Kyle Sinckler is out.
09:51 , George Flood
A sneak peak inside the England dressing room in Perth.
Just over an hour remaining until kick-off in this morning’s first Test!
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) July 2, 2022
Key battles - Cooper vs Smith
09:41 , George Flood
You will struggle to find two more exciting fly-halves in world rugby than Marcus Smith and Quade Cooper. Both love to play running rugby on the front foot and it could lead to fireworks.
The pair have a good relationship via mutual friend Ben Tapuai, who used to play at Harlequins, and Cooper revealed earlier this week that they share playing tips via Instagram messages.
Jones needs explosive start after awful England run
09:35 , George Flood
Eddie Jones walked into a Perth bowls club here on the banks of the Swan River, dropped one bombshell and then declared the build-up to the First Test against Australia was too quiet for his liking, writes Adam Hathaway in Perth.
Once Jones had detonated the explosion that Owen Farrell would not be returning as captain for the tour opener, he complained about the lack of verbal jousting with his opposite number, Dave Rennie.
The England head coach has not even bothered to throw any grenades in the direction of the Wallabies this week.
He said it was not enjoyable lobbing verbal missiles if nothing was coming back your way, as it did when Michael Cheika was Australian boss here in 2016 and in his exchanges with Warren Gatland before past England clashes with Wales.
“In 2016, we had Cheika here and there was a bit of niggle,” said Jones. “It was good. Good Australian sport. I prefer it like that, but you can’t spar against nothing. I like a bit of fun. When you’re sparring in a corner by yourself, it’s not much fun.”
Dallaglio column: Vunipola will be back with a bang
09:27 , George Flood
The England team Eddie Jones has picked to face Australia is one with a point to prove, both individually and collectively, writes Lawrence Dallaglio.
Let’s be honest, the results haven’t been good enough over the past 12 months and the performances have been patchy. England had a losing record in the Six Nations and the less said about the Barbarians game the other week the better.
This is a proper Test series, though, and it gives this team the chance to lay down a marker. Ireland and France have improved significantly since the last World Cup and England haven’t, so it is about time they announce their arrival with a statement victory.
Eddie’s selections often leave you scratching your head, but on this occasion I think he has probably picked the team most of the rugby-loving public would have. It’s full of experience, but with form players, too.
That is certainly the case with Billy Vunipola, who looks back to his best and like a player with a point to prove. Billy wears his heart on his sleeve and it would have hurt him being out of the picture.
09:21 , George Flood
The Optus Stadium looking resplendent in the late afternoon Aussie sunshine.
The multi-purpose venue holds 65,000 spectators, but today’s opening test is not a sell-out.
Rugby union far from the most popular sport around these parts...
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) July 2, 2022
09:14 , George Flood
Australia XV: Banks; Kellaway, Ikitau, Kerevi, Koroibete; Cooper, White; Bell, Porecki, Alaalatoa, Swain, Neville, Leota, Hooper (c), Valetini.
Replacements: Fainga’a, Sio, Slipper, Philip, Samu, Gordon, Lolesio, Petaia.
09:12 , George Flood
Starting XV: Steward; Nowell, Marchant, Farrell, Cokanasiga; Smith, Care; Genge, George, Stuart, Itoje, Hill, Lawes (c), Curry, B Vunipola.
Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, M Vunipola, Heyes, Chessum, Ludlam, Van Poortlviet, Porter, Arundell.
Australia vs England prediction
09:07 , George Flood
England have certainly had Australia’s number under former Wallabies boss Jones, who has revelled in dishing out the blows to his homeland over the years with a flawless record of eight wins from eight, including that famous series whitewash down under in 2016.
However, this series has a markedly different feel with the visitors mired in such a difficult run after another underwhelming Six Nations and the end of the Jones era looming after next year’s World Cup.
The Aussies were brushed aside on their dismal northern hemisphere tour last autumn, but will fancy their chances of taking advantage of England’s ongoing issues and starting the three-match series with a bang.
Australia to win by five points.
Australia team news: Debuts for Neville and Porecki
09:05 , George Flood
The headline team news from an Australian perspective comes with 33-year-old Brumbies lock Cadeyrn Neville being handed a surprise start as his nation’s oldest debutant this century in a beefed-up pack.
There is also a debut for Waratahs hooker Dave Porecki, while veteran playmaker Quade Cooper is preferred to Noah Lolesio at fly-half with James O’Connor not fully fit and another wily veteran in Nic White at No9.
The influential breakdown artist Michael Hooper captains the side as usual from openside flanker, earning his 119th cap.
Cooper’s fellow Japan-based team-mates Samu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete also start, but prop Taniela Tupou is absent with a calf injury.
Allan Alaalatoa takes the mantle at tighthead instead.
England team news: Lawes captain over Farrell
08:59 , George Flood
Owen Farrell is back for England today after an injury-plagued campaign but is not the captain, with Eddie Jones instead preferring to keep Courtney Lawes in that role - a decision that has apparently left his former skipper “very unhappy”.
Farrell lines up at inside centre alongside Joe Marchant, with the recalled Danny Care earning his first England cap since November 2018 as part of a half-back pairing alongside Harlequins team-mate Marcus Smith, with Ben Youngs staying back to support his family following the recent death of brother Tom’s wife Tiffany.
Joe Cokanasiga and Jack Nowell are on the wings with Jonny May still isolating due to Covid, with Freddie Steward at full-back. England are without the likes of first-choice midfield partners Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade due to injury.
In the pack, Billy Vunipola is recalled and starts at No8 with Alex Dombrandt and Sam Simmonds both injured, while Lawes and Tom Curry line up on the flanks and Maro Itoje is partned by Jonny Hill in the second row.
Kyle Sinckler’s absence means tighthead prop Will Stuart joins Ellis Genge and Jamie George in the front row, while ‘apprentice’ Henry Arundell, Guy Porter and Jack van Poortvliet are all poised to earn their maiden caps from the bench.
How to watch Australia vs England
08:57 , George Flood
TV channel: In the UK, Australia vs England is being broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Action, with coverage beginning at 10:15am this morning.
Live stream: Subscribers can also watch the game unfold live online via the Sky Go app.
Welcome to Australia vs England LIVE coverage!
08:52 , George Flood
Good morning and a very warm welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of the first Test between Australia and England in Perth.
The tourists are down under for a three-match summer tour trying desperately to generate some momentum with next year’s World Cup looming fast following another disappointing Six Nations campaign and embarrassing defeat by the 14-man Barbarians at Twickenham last month.
Kick-off at the Optus Stadium is at 10:55am BST today, so stay tuned for live match build-up, team news, lineups, thoughts from both camps and minute-by-minute updates from the game itself.
This should be a cracking clash between these old rivals.