‘Bodyline’ talk not rattling Slipper

Date published: June 5 2016

Eddie Jones talk of playing 'Bodyline' rugby in Australia isn't concerning Wallabies loosehead prop James Slipper.

England's plan to outmuscle the Wallabies is one that Slipper himself has in mind for the tourists when the series gets underway in Brisbane.

Highlighting the similarities behind England's pre-series talk and the noises coming out of their camp before the Rugby World Cup pool match last year, which Australia won resoundingly, Slipper knows there's a big difference between talking about having the physical edge and actually achieving it.

"They say that every year. We want to do the same thing to them," Slipper told the Press Association.

"It was the same sort of chat before the World Cup, but at the end of the day you have to go out there and do it. I'm sure both teams will be trying to do it. It's setting up to be a good series."

Slipper too has no concerns either about the state of Australia's scrum, pointing to the strides made last year by the front row in last year's World Cup on the road to the final.

That said, he knows this England side are a different beast to the one he faced in 2015.

"I think we've come a long way in the last couple of years. We're confident, but we understand that we still have to work pretty hard on our scrum," Slipper added.

"We're happy with where we are but we know that we'll be coming up against a strong England pack and it's going to be a tough series.

"This is a different England team to the one we played at the World Cup. They played really well in the Six Nations with a new coach and some new players.

"They are a proud rugby nation and are coming down here to play Australia and there's a lot of history there."