Eddie Jones says Wallabies suffer 'inferiority complex' against England
Eddie Jones smiles in his own inimitable way that he’s just another Australian with an “inferiority complex” when it comes to playing the “mother country” England at sport.
Whether one of the great mind-games players really believes this statement is very much open to doubt, of course.
Yet the man who’s guided England to seven straight convincing wins over his home country swears only an Aussie could truly understand just how psyched up Dave Rennie’s Wallabies will be to end that losing streak at Twickenham on Sunday morning (AEDT).
After unveiling a powerful, innovative-looking side on Thursday, Jones, in his best combative cheeky chappy mode, noted: “I know as an Australian – and it’s probably hard for the English to understand – what an important game this is for Australia.”
In his best schoolteacher mode, he then offered a history lesson as to why.
“Our country started as convicts being sent down there, so we have always looked up and looked at England as the mother country.
“I remember as a kid, we’d stand around for the anthem and it was God Save the Queen. We were the smaller country of England – so when we played them in sport, it was an opportunity to prove we were not.
“We have bit of an inferiority complex against the English, the Australians, so they’ll want to take us to where they want to.
“This is a game where Australians don’t go away. This is the game they want to win.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Olympics, test cricket, rugby league … this is the game that defines their season.”
Asked if he really believed that, Jones grinned: “I think I am still Australian, mate – so I understand how Australians think. It will be.”
Jones admitted he’d used the same ‘little brother’ mentality when he was Wallabies coach.
Dave Rennie has promised his Wallabies will “throw everything” at Eddie Jones’ England in a bid to end their woeful recent results against the old enemy. #Wallabies #ENGvAUS #AutumnNationsSeries https://t.co/u9ognH0hSm
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 11, 2021
“Certainly not too successfully. England had the wood on us. While we got some victories, we didn’t have as many as we’d have liked.
“But I know how Australia think. They just won’t go away. They will keep coming. Because this is the game.
“As much as they’d have liked to win (against Scotland) at Murrayfield on Sunday, this is the game they’ve targeted. This is the game they want.
“We understand they won’t go away. We understand we will have to be in the game for every minute of the game.”
To handle this, Jones has gone with a side designed to squeeze in all his most powerful backline weapons, with the new star of English rugby Marcus Smith starting at 10, Owen Farrell at 12 and Manu Tuilagi making a rare and unlikely outing on the wing.
How much had Jones seen of the barnstorming centre Tuilagi as a winger? “Enough,” smiled the Aussie, who knows the 30-year-old hasn’t started in that position in a test since 2014.
“I see (in Tuilagi) a powerful player who’s probably in the best condition of his career, who will add to the ball players we’ve got inside and will finish off the movements that we have.”
Asked by one intrepid English reporter whether his 100 per cent winning record meant anything in the greater scheme of things and whether he particularly enjoyed beating his home country, Jones offered one of his razor-sharp put-downs.
“Zero and zero – so that’s two dots, and if you get that in a T20, you’re not having a good over,” smiled the master.
“So I’d try again.”
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