England: Forwards coach Richard Cockerill bracing for a physical series decider against Australia

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

England forwards coach Richard Cockerill believes the “niggle” his side is said to have brought to the series against the Wallabies has “been pretty tame so far”.

Thus far, the series has been fiery, with the old rivalry in full swing. The first Test saw Wallaby second-row Darcy Swain sent off after an ongoing battle with England’s Jonny Hill before Ellis Genge had scrum-half Nic White pinned to the ground in the second Test.

England “tame” thus far

White has spoken on the “niggle” in the media this week, and Cockerill responded brilliantly, claiming England has not been at fault.

“I didn’t see one of our blokes getting sent off for a headbutt,” he said.

“I keep hearing about the niggle that England have brought. I don’t know how Aussie rugby is but I don’t see that as niggle. It’s been pretty tame so far.

“So we just have to get on our with our game with a good set piece, tackle hard, clean rucks, be as physical and abrasive as we can, within the laws of the game. I don’t think it has been a particularly dirty series so far at all.

“You want rivalry don’t you? You want spikiness to games. The first 15-20 minutes on Saturday…. let’s bring it on because that’s what it’s all about.

“We have got two teams who are playing for the Test series so we are both going to be going at it.”

Physical battle

Cockerill says his players are in a good space and expects Australia to come out physically early in the decider at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“Mentally we’re in a really good spot and if the brain is willing the body will follow. We’ve got no qualms that we’ll be able to bring the same physicality – and more,” Cockerill said.

“I expect Australia to come hard physically at us. They lost the physical battle early in the game last weekend and they’ll want to put that right.

“We know the physical parts are going to be really important and so within the laws of the game we want to be as physical as we can.

“They’ll have a reaction because in that first 30 minutes or so we beat them physically. So they’re going to come with more physicality – well no surprise so are we.

“We’ve got physicality in different ways all over the field. We’ll bring it as a collective. The sum of our parts is going to be our strength.

“It’s all on the line. We lost the first Test and everyone wrote us off and we were under pressure.

“Under pressure English teams come back really well and the boys were unbelievably good on in Brisbane – a place where Australia don’t lose unless they are playing England. We are looking forward to it.”

READ MORE: Australia v England preview: Eddie Jones’ men to edge to series victory over the Wallabies


The article England: Forwards coach Richard Cockerill bracing for a physical series decider against Australia appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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