Jones warns Wallabies of ‘Bodyline’ rugby

Date published: March 15 2016

England head coach Eddie Jones wants his charges to play "Bodyline" rugby  when they face Australia during their three-Test tour in June.

The former Wallabies mentor, who last week marked his first season season in charge of the Red Rose with a Six Nations title, used the phrase in reference to the name associated with the 1932/33 England tour of Australia, when visiting cricket captain Douglas Jardine used fast bowlers to rough up Australia's batsmen in a tactical approach, which although effective in helping England regain the Ashes, was later widely regarded as intimidatory and unsporting.

“We’ve got to take a side down there to play Bodyline," Jones told AFP.

“If we’re going to beat Australia in Australia, we’ve got to have a completely physical, aggressive team.”

Jones, who has his sights set on completing England's first Grand Slam since 2003, says he hasn't focused on selection for the tour Down Under yet, and is now shifting his attention to the world number one ranking. 

“The Six Nations title is a nice little step for us," he added.

“It’s nice to get a trophy for the cabinet, but we have bigger fish to fry and the first one is the Grand Slam on Saturday. I’ll be satisfied when England become the number one team in the world — that’s the whole aim of coming here.

“England have been playing rugby since 1871 — that’s 100 years after Captain Cook arrived in Australia — and England have only won 12 grand slams. So only 12 times have England been able to say that, conclusively, we’re the best team in Europe.

Jones said that beating France in their Six Nations meeting at Stade de France on Saturday will make a statement to prove the change in rugby in the country that had a miserable outing at last year's World Cup.

He said: “That’s what we want to do — show everyone in Europe that England has changed its rugby. Beating France in Paris will be a big statement in doing that."