Ellis Genge urges England to improve after being ‘surprised’ by Australia

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Ellis Genge insists there will be no nasty surprises from Australia’s pack at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday after England learned an important lesson from the first Test.

England are looking to avoid falling 2-0 behind in the series when they face the Wallabies at their Brisbane fortress and will be better prepared having underestimated the home forwards in Perth.

A 14-9 lead was picked apart in a one-sided final quarter with two late tries masking the true extent of the tourists’ defeat.

“I was surprised and thought they were better than what we perceived they were going to be. That was probably a bit naive on our part. Good for them,” Genge said.

“What are we going to do to turn that around? Find out on Saturday. Go harder. We’ve got to be better everywhere. We’ve got to be better because we lost. We won’t be caught cold.

“We have just got to be better in general – I know that is a vague way of putting it – but we need to be better in all facets. We were five per cent off everywhere which cumulatively makes a big difference.

“I don’t think we were miles off it. They were good, really good, and at the top level you get punished for being off anything.”

England are playing to avoid a fifth straight defeat and are also coming to terms with the demise of their eight-Test winning run against the Wallabies, which included an historic series whitewash Down Under six years ago.

“Before 2016 we hadn’t won a series over here,” Leicester’s Bristol-bound captain said.

“That was a big one for us in 2016 and they were probably quite upset about that, so it probably meant a lot for them to do us in that first game in Perth.

“Everyone’s questions are loaded towards: ‘Are you going to be up for the next game?’ Course we are. We want to win. We’re going to be fired up for it.”

Among the key battles at a venue where Australia have won their last 10 Tests is Genge’s front row clash with Taniela Tupou, the prop known as the ‘Tongan Thor’ because of his explosive running.

Tupou, who missed the first Test because of a calf injury, has said he is united with Genge by a mutual desire to “smash” each other.

“I love playing against the best tight heads in the world. I have never played against him, I have never met him. I have seen his highlights reel from when he was 16, everyone has. He’s a big lump,” Genge said.

“I wouldn’t call him a fake tough man. He might be hard as nails. Who knows? Good for him, get in line.”

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