Five modern England v Australia battles in rugby union

Ahead of the final Autumn International, Cora look at five modern England v Australia battles in rugby union that were memorable.

Five modern England v Australia battles in rugby union

Whenever the men from Down Under take on England, it’s always hugely competitive and rugby union is no exception to that.

Ahead of the last of the Autumn Internationals at Twickenham between Eddie Jones’ unbeaten Red Rose and the Wallabies, Coral experts look at five modern England v Australia battles in rugby union.

The hosts are firm 1/4 favourites to make it quartet of victories over the Aussies this year, while Michael Cheika’s touring team are 3/1 outsiders to gain revenge. England are better at 15/8 to record a margin of victory in the 1-10 points bracket.

What about those memorable modern battles, then? These five we’ve picked out below should jog your memory…

Wallabies win first World Cup (1991)

First up, a dark day at Twickenham, as Australia defeated Rugby World Cup hosts England 12-6 to become global kings of union for the first time in the early ’90s.

Prop Tony Daly grabbed the only try for the Wallabies, with current pundit Michael Lynagh converting and kicking two penalties.

A Red Rose side containing Will Carling, Jeremy Guscott, Rory Underwood and Jason Leonard could only get points on the board through Jonathan Webb’s boot.

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (2003)

The 2003 Rugby World Cup final is widely considered to be England’s finest hour in union, with Jonny Wilkinson’s winning drop goal in extra time written into national sporting folklore.

Under Clive Woodward, the Red Rose had to come from behind through Jason Robinson against tournament hosts Australia only to be forced into an additional 20 minutes by a late Wallabies penalty.

Wilkinson kicked over the posts with just 26 seconds left on the clock in Sydney to secure a 20-17 win Down Under. How’s that for pure sporting theatre?

Scrum dominance (2007)

Another tense Rugby World Cup encounter, only this time at the quarter-final stage in 2007 across the Channel in France.

Once again, Fiji-born Aussies back Lote Tuqiri went over to put England behind, but the trusty boot of Wilkinson saw them through 12-10.

Red Rose dominance of the scrums is what’s most memorable about this game, though – a subject current coach Jones often returns to as he winds up his compatriots from Down Under.

Bernard Foley show (2015)

No list of modern England v Australia battles in rugby union would be complete without the embarrassing elimination the Red Rose suffered from last year’s Rugby World Cup pool stage as hosts.

Wallabies fly half Bernard Foley barely put a foot wrong, putting 28 of his country’s 33 points on the board with two tries, three conversions and four penalties.

This result essential cost Stuart Lancaster his job as England coach and instigated the subsequent rugby revolution under Jones. History will remember this humbling 33-13 defeat as a catalyst for big change.

Jones has been clever enough to keep the core of the side that played in this defeat together and, as the below proves, such demons can be exorcised…

Historic series win Down Under (2016)

And finally, we could’ve picked any of England’s three victories in Australia as they whitewashed the Wallabies this summer, but we reckon the second Test in Melbourne was most memorable with the tourists running out 23-7 winners.

Respective hookers and captains Stephen Moore and Dylan Hartley crossed for tries, while this time Owen Farrell outshined Foley in the kicking department.

Touring Red Rose prop Dan Cole’s try-saving intervention to hold the ball up when the Aussies were over the tryline, plus flanker James Haskell’s hard hits evoke the British bulldog spirit embodied by a determined England during this series.


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Which of these five England v Australia battles in rugby union is most memorable for you? Or did we miss one out? Let us know in the comments below.

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