Wallabies vow to meet England physicality

·3-min read

Bashed up front in Brisbane, the Wallabies are promising to bring more physicality to the deciding Test against England in Sydney on Saturday as they look to clinch a rare series win over their old foe.

England set the tone at Suncorp Stadium in game two when prop Ellis Genge ran through Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper and they dominated the early forward battle to set up a match-winning lead.

Wallabies halfback Nic White, who was also roughed up by Genge, said his side would look to match the visitors' ferocity from the opening whistle.

"We knew they were going to come out with a bit of edge and that physicality and we were just pretty disappointed with our physicality, our edge, so there's a fair bit for us to look at," White said on Tuesday.

"Both games they've come out firing; they're big men and we're going to have to be better up front as they got us in the contact areas.

"That will be a focus for us, fronting up physically at the start, as I feel like both games we've come home pretty strong so it's about arresting those 20 minutes."

The veteran No.9, who will bring up his 50th Test cap in the SCG match, said he had been surprised by the niggle from England.

He expected more of it on Saturday and said the Wallabies needed to walk a fine line between defending themselves and their home turf and being penalised.

They lost lock Darcy Swain for the entire series after he reacted illegally when baited by his opposite Jonny Hill during the Perth Test win.

Owen Farrell's boot then proved decisive in Brisbane, booting six England penalties in the 25-17 outcome.

"You have to be careful around these areas in how you retaliate," White said.

"With the Genge one I was asked to calm down but I thought I was pretty measured ... and then the penalty went the other way.

"Certainly, you don't want anyone running in but there's a fair bit of niggle and we won't be buying into that.

"We'll be doing our best to just concentrate on the rugby side of things."

England captain Courtney Lawes denied on Tuesday the niggle was a pre-meditated strategy to upset the Wallabies.

"I think we just wind them up in general because they don't like us," said Lawes when told of White's comments.

"We just want to concentrate on ourselves and playing our game and we actually talk about not letting them wind us up, so that's quite funny, pretty ironic.

"We haven't spoken about trying to wind them up; the boys get pretty up for it and sometimes emotions can boil over and you do silly things."

White felt Australia's second-half rally last Saturday, to close the margin to five points before Farrell's last penalty goal, boded well for the deciding encounter with momentum with his team.

Australia won the opening Test in Perth 30-28 while the last time they won a touring series against England was in 2006, when it was played over two Tests.

"I felt like we were coming back with tails up (in the second Test), we just didn't execute a few of those moments in the second half and we executed those in the second half in the first Test," White said.

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