England and Wales to start summer Tests

Owen Farrell and Alun Wyn Jones

Owen Farrell (left) will take the number 10 shirt for England, while Alun Wyn Jones earns his 100th cap for Wales

England and Wales start their summer Test tours on Saturday in the southern hemisphere.

Eddie Jones’ England, who won the Six Nations Grand Slam earlier this year, face Australia in Brisbane (11:00 BST) in the first of their three Tests.

Meanwhile, Wales take on world champions New Zealand in Auckland (08:35 BST).

Wales have never beaten the All Blacks on their own turf while England have not won a series in Australia.

  • Team news from Australia v England

Jones is back in his homeland for the first time as England coach, and comes up against his former Randwick team-mate Michael Cheika, now Wallabies coach.

England’s boss said of last year’s World Cup finalists: “Australia are going to be absolutely rampant.

“This is the first Test they’ve played with expectation on them.

“Knowing Cheika – and this may be one of the advantages that we have – we understand what the Wallabies are going to come out and do. They will be breathing fire.

“Winning would be massive. It would make everyone in the world stand up and say: ‘Maybe they’re trying to do something different now.'”

All change in the All Blacks


Wales slipped to a 34-16 defeat against New Zealand in 2014

New Zealand have won their last 34 games at their Auckland ground, and Wales have not beaten the world champions in 26 matches since 1953.

But captain Richie McCaw has retired, while France-based Dan Carter and Ma’a Nonu are unavailable for selection, and so coach Steve Hansen has made six changes from the team who won the World Cup in England.

  • Team news from New Zealand v Wales

Wales coach Warren Gatland is aware of the task ahead, saying: “The challenge for us is to stay in the arm-wrestle and to match them physically up front. When opportunities arise, we have to take risks and play expansive rugby.

“The message to our players is to be bold, be smart in the way we play and don’t be scared to try things.

“You’ve always got to be excited about playing the best team in the world, the back-to-back world champions, in their own back yard.

“It is a huge test for us, but to get the chance to test yourself against the best is exciting.”

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