Rugby: England's Next Game, Latest Odds and Analysis
Following their disappointing display in Perth seven days earlier, England got their Tour of Australia back on track at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane last weekend with a 25-17 victory against the Wallabies.
That has fans and betting sites eagerly anticipating what should be a fascinating deciding test on Saturday.
Despite playing close to 50 minutes of the game with 14 men - and briefly being reduced to 13 in the closing moments - the Aussies pulled off a 30-28 triumph over their opponents on the first day out and had set themselves up for a potential series clincher in the second of three tests.
Yet England arrived in Brisbane as a determined outfit and got the win they needed to keep their tour alive going into the final test at Sydney Cricket Ground this Saturday.
As a native of Tasmania (and a former Wallabies head coach), English supremo Eddie Jones was eager to put one over on his home country this summer.
England Respond In Second Test
The Australian-born Billy Vunipola was one of the players he recalled for this international window and his fifth-minute try set the wheels in motion for the visitors in the Suncorp cauldron.
England were the much sharper team during the early exchanges and Owen Farrell’s reliable boot helped them to build up a 19-0 lead by the 33rd minute.
There was a kick (as expected) from Australia however, and Taniela Tupou’s converted try got them up and running in time for the interval. A fifth Farrell penalty kept England in the box seat on the restart, before Australia bagged 10 points without reply to leave the gap at five heading into the final-quarter.
England coped well under intense scrutiny though, and another Farrell place-kick (bringing his final tally to 20 points) ensured they came out on top.
This sets things up perfectly for their final duel this weekend as the best betting sites for rugby union await the deciding test.
After winning their first test against Ireland back in 2018 - the last time a touring nation paid a visit to their country - Australia subsequently lost back-to-back encounters to the then-Six Nations champions and thus came out second best in the series overall.
England secured a test series victory against the Wallabies back in 2016, but that was a convincing 3-0 success for the northern hemisphere men.
Although that obviously can’t happen now, there is every chance they will be able to pull off another tour triumph under Jones’ watch.
Australia Remain Favourites For Third Test Victory
While his record as English head coach against Australia still stands at an impressive nine wins from 10, Jones’ men remain the outsiders coming into the third test - as they had been for the previous two.
Bet365 are currently offering odds of 4/6 on Australia coming out on the right side of the result this weekend. By contrast, UK bookmakers are rating an England win at 11/10.
In 54 previous meetings between these nations, there has only been one draw. That was an autumn international at Twickenham Stadium, London in 1997 when the sides were forced to share the spoils on a 15-15 scoreline.
Still, you couldn’t completely rule out the same thing happening again, as unlikely as it seems. The highest odds on offer for a draw are 13/1 with Betfair, but this could be worthy of consideration nonetheless.
Even though Australia and England have been well out in front for their wins to date, the final margin of victory ended up being relatively small.
Therefore, it would be foolish to expect that there is going to be a heavy defeat dished out by either side, particularly with this being a series decider.
Betfair are presenting odds of 11/2 on either England or Australia winning by between 1 and 5 points. This is an indication of how close this game is to call on paper.
An Australian victory of 6-10 points is valued at 17/4, with the odds on an English win by the same margin being rated at 11/2 with Ladbrokes.
Both Coaches Will Ponder Changing Their Teams
In contrast to Irish counterpart Andy Farrell on his tour of New Zealand, Jones did make significant alterations to England’s starting 15 in between the first and second tests.
Jack Nowell, Tommy Freeman, Jack van Poortvliet and Sam Underhill all came into the side following the opening day reversal and these changes worked a treat for Jones.
Joe Marchant, Joe Cokanasiga, Danny Care and Tom Curry were the ones to miss out, albeit Curry’s absence was injury-enforced.
But he was tempted to make three alterations to the England team for the final test, agreeing with argument for freshening up some departments given how gruelling this series is proving to be.
Just 10 Australian players have started the two tests to date and Dave Rennie has made four changes for their showdown with England in Sydney.
The Wallabies head coach has had no luck with injuries at full-back as Tom Banks was withdrawn 21 minutes into the first test with a broken arm that will keep him sidelined for an extended period of time. He was replaced by Jordan Petaia, who was then handed a start in the number 15 jersey for the second test.
Unfortunately, the Queensland Reds star only lasted four minutes of the latter after he picked up a head injury. He made way for Izaia Perese, only for the Waratahs man to then spend 10 minutes in the sin-bin and pick up an injury of his own.
Petaia and Perese were two of four players to suffer injuries in the second test, and Rennie admitted the depth of his squad is being severely tested over the course of this tour.
In addition to those who are currently on the treatment table, lock Darcy Swain was suspended for last week’s test and the forthcoming one as a result of being red carded in their first duel with England on July 2.
This may suggest that the English will have an edge when the two sides renew acquaintances this weekend, but there is still an abundance of quality within this Australian side.
The series is also serving as an ideal opportunity for both Jones and Rennie to see where their respective squads as they look to make an impact on the Rugby World Cup betting.
Saturday’s test might well be the best chance for some fringe players to force the hand of their coaches going forward and playing their part in a summer tour success would be the perfect way to do it.
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