Brisbane - England coach Eddie Jones says
having a beer with friend and former team-mate Michael Cheika can wait as he
turned up the heat on Wednesday by talking about weaknesses in the Australian
Jones and his squad arrive in Brisbane on
Thursday for a three-Test series against the Wallabies, which has been given
added spice because of the two opposing coaches.
Jones and Cheika are both Australian and
have known each other for years, having played together at leading Sydney club
Randwick. Both are also right at the top of their game.
England have yet to lose under Jones -
their first overseas coach - after he guided them to a first Grand Slam in 13
years earlier this season, while Cheika is the World Rugby coach of the year
after leading the Wallabies to last year's World Cup final.
But the pleasantries can wait, Jones said.
"I'm sure at some stage we might (go
out for a beer) but it's not on the agenda at the moment," he told The Australian
"At the moment, Cheika's got smoke and
mirrors everywhere. I wouldn't pay any credence to what he's saying at the
moment. The new, mellow Cheika has a lot of deception about him, so let's just
wait and see."
Jones is bringing a young squad with him -
an average age of 24 - and has said it will be a big learning experience, but
has also made clear they are in full siege-mentality mode.
"Playing the second-best team in the
world in their own backyard is one of the greatest challenges and you know
Australia is a hostile place for an overseas team," he said.
"You know that everyone's well-coordinated
in making sure it's as difficult as possible, which is how it should be... and
we've got a young team."
He has picked four uncapped players in his
32-man squad - Worcester centre Ben Te'o, Northampton back-rower Teimana
Harrison, Bristol prop Ellis Genge (currently on loan at Leicester) and Harlequins
prop Kyle Sinckler.
But he also has plenty of experience,
including Owen Farrell and Manu Tuilagi.
And despite playing on opposition territory
against a quality Wallaby outfit, which beat England in the World Cup the last
time they met, Jones said there were weak links for his team to exploit.
"There's definitely weaknesses in the
Australian team, like any team," he said. "There's weaknesses in the
All Blacks team. But you've got to be good enough to be able to explore them.
"The way the Wallabies defend, they
give you a very good chance to get at them and that's something we'll be
looking at very closely."
The first Test is in Brisbane on June 11,
with the second in Melbourne a week later, followed by Sydney on June 25.