England are preparing for the final Test against tomorrow, and fans will be hoping that they can complete a whitewash over the Australian side. Even if they don’t manage to claim a 3-0 series victory though, this England team will still go down in history, as the only English side to ever claim a series win Down Under.
The biggest news for England fans is the fact that flanker Teimana Harrison will start the game, replacing James Haskell. Haskell was injured in the last match against the Aussies, and has failed to recover from his foot injury in time to take his place in the team. Jack Nowell has been passed fit to start though, after passing the concussion protocols put in place to protect players from head injuries.
For Harrison, the start marks yet another stage in a meteoric rise, which began with a fantastic season at Northampton. He seems to be the perfect fit for Eddie Jones’ team, thanks to his resilience and willingness to scrap, however tomorrow’s game will be the biggest test he’s ever had in a rugby shirt. It remains to be seen whether his inexperience can be exploited by the Australian team or whether, as he’s done in the past, he’ll rise to the occasion.
Aside from the inclusion of Harrison, Jones has opted to stick with the same team from the previous Test. This backs up his claim that he’s going to go all-out for the win in the final game, despite the series already being won. A win in the final game would also mean that England remain unbeaten throughout the time Jones has been in charge, which has lasted for eight matches so far and caused England to rise to second in the world rankings.
Australia have made some changes prior to the final Test though, with the biggest being the inclusion of fit-again Matt Toomua, who is due to join Leicester shortly. Australian head coach Michael Cheika has also brought in both Will Skelton to the starting XV.
Perhaps the most interesting part of thew build up to the final Test has been the criticism levelled at the England team from both inside and outside the Australian camp. David Campese, who is known for his outspoken views, has stated that Jones is still “dirty” from his time as the Australian coach, while Australian head coach Michael Cheika has described the England team as “dull” and said that they need to “open up.”