England: Richard Cockerill expects a ‘gladiatorial’ battle up front against the Wallabies

·2-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

England forwards coach Richard Cockerill is anticipating a gruelling physical battle between the two sets of forwards in the second Test against Australia at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

The Wallabies claimed an impressive 30-28 victory in the first Test, playing more than half of the clash with 14 men, after a Darcy Swain red card, ending Eddie Jones’s eight-game winning streak against his country of birth.

Prepared for battle

Cockerill believes his pack is ready and eager to get involved in what will be a “gladiatorial” outing up front.

“We are very much sleeves rolled up and gum-shields in. We are coming here to win the game and we are very much up for the battle,” he said.

“The forward battle is going to be key and let’s look forward to it. We’re an English pack and we want to get in the middle of it.

“It’s about making sure that the battle of wills is really strong and we make sure that we don’t blink first.

“Last Saturday we got what we deserved in the end, so we’ve just got to be better at what we do, be more consistent and do it more often.

“We want it to be gladiatorial. We want it to be physical. That first clash is going to be great. Let’s go and see it. That’s what the game is all about.

“Let’s enjoy the physical parts, the feisty parts and – within the laws of the game – let’s get into it.”

A heavyweight clash awaits in the front-row as England’s Ellis Genge goes head-to-head with the outspoken Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou, who challenged the Premiership champion earlier this week.

Cockerill says Tupou better be on his game after speaking out and beat the drum over an intriguing match-up.

“Tupou has not played for a little while so he’d better turn up and perform if he is going to start challenging Ellis before the game,” said Cockerill.

“When Genge gets the ball, they are going to want to whack him. When Tupou gets the ball, we are going to want to whack him.

Enticing duel

“Tupou is exceptionally explosive with ball in hand. It should be a good set-piece battle between him and Ellis. It all sets it up for a nice, tasty evening.

“Ellis will get on with his game. We know those battles are going to be crucial. The physical battles up front are always crucial. We look forward to it. Bring it on.”

READ MORE: Australia v England preview: Wallabies to take advantage of muddled Eddie Jones selection and seal series victory


The article England: Richard Cockerill expects a ‘gladiatorial’ battle up front against the Wallabies appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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