Australia 17-25 England: second rugby union Test – as it happened

Last modified: 12: 36 PM GMT+0


Thank you for joining me tonight. That was a much better spectacle than in Perth, and hopefully that trend continues for the decider in Sydney. I’ll see you back here then.

I’ll leave you with Rob Kitson’s view from the final whistle.


What did we learn about England? That when they play with that level of intensity, especially as a proactive defensive line, they are a force to be reckoned with. That Owen Farrell remains a top class controlling presence even without the (c) next to his name. And that an inability to go for the jugular is making life more difficult than it should. Midway through the opening half the scoreboard read 19-0, and it flattered Australia. Too often England kicked away possession aimlessly or failed to penetrate when there were avenues to the try line. Australia showed them how it could be done either side of half-time.

What did we learn about Australia? That they have no luck with injuries, for a start. That their ability to dig in and fight, behind the superb Michael Hooper, is an attribute that great things can be built on. That they are extremely dangerous despite lacking possession - as with Perth last week, the Wallabies enjoyed little attacking ball but still managed to make what they had count.

NZ and Aus both beaten fairly and squarely at home by NH opposition within hours of each other. Can Ire and Eng repeat the feat next Sat? You wouldn't bet against it on today's evidence.

— robert kitson (@robkitson) July 9, 2022

Once again there’ll be plenty of attention on Dave Rennie during the week because he will need to find more fit Australians for the final Test in Sydney. Four Wallabies failed to last the distance tonight, most distressingly of them all Izaia Perese who looked to have seriously injured his knee. It has been a bruising couple of Test matches for the hosts.

Owen Farrell was outstanding in the No 12 jersey. He laid a couple of big tackles, ran well, kicked out of hand smartly, and plundered points off the tee. Australian TV has named him player of the match.

Asked about the week under an under-pressure Eddie Jones, Farrell responded: “It was good. Pretty calm. It was disappointing last week. It felt like we never fired a shot so we were going to make sure we came here and did that from the beginning and credit to the boys in the field to do that.”

And on that controversial 10-12 combination with Smith: “It is still pretty new. I thought there was less thinking tonight from us and there was more playing, especially in the first bit and be felt more comfortable. It felt like we were going at Australia rather than waiting.”

Michael Hooper was pleased with the way his side dug in and almost came away with victory after such a tough start. “We wanted to start the game really physical and I think England won that battle tonight. They were throwing punches and coming down our throat pretty well. We managed to stop the bleeding and get back into the game. A few big moments at the end when we could have got some points. We did not get. The fight in this team to stay in the performance there and be in it until the end was really pleasing.”

Courtney Lawes praises the fast start that set up the victory. “We wanted to come out fast and we knew that in a game like this, which we had to win, we have to come out of the blocks and get stuck into them and that is what we did and we set the tone early.”

Billy Vunipola is pleased with his night’s work. “We got beaten up last week and we talked about fronting up, especially the forwards and I thought we did that,” he tells Sonny-Bill Williams. “I had a dressing down from my dad last week. I had to improve my game today and hopefully he is proud, and the rest of England. Today was about the boys. We did it tough last week and we know that Eddie is a nice guy but a tough guy as well. We had to perform today.”

Over the 80 minutes England deserved the victory in an incident-packed match, but they made hard work of it after a blistering start.

Full-time: Australia 17-25 England

England had to win in Brisbane, and win they have.

79 mins: Solid lineout just out the 22 from England, but the maul rumbles dangerously close to touch on the right. It stays in, and Care orchestrates his forwards to take no-risk drives at the heart of Australia’s defence to run down the clock.

78 mins: The scrum collapses, Bell, who has been excellent tonight in a long shift, is penalised, and England kick for territory.

78 mins: England are happy to take their time setting a scrum near halfway.

77 mins: Australia have to take the game on, and they try, from deep in their own half. Lolesio, Koroibete, Valetini, all put their heads down and drive towards halfway. It’s hard working but a little aimless and desperate, and eventually England’s solid defence forces a loose forward pass from Gordon, and that could be it.

76 mins: England keep the ball in hands, specifically the meaty hands of their tight five, to run down even more time in midfield. Eventually there’s a kick, marked by O’Connor, but he has few options.

75 mins: Despite the miss, Farrell and England ran down a lot of time. Into the closing stages now with England in possession on halfway on the left wing.

74 mins: When England do regroup they point to the posts to invite Owen Farrell to kick his toughest effort of the night. 40m out, 10m in from the left touchline, and Farrell drags it wide.

73 mins: Another England penalty, this time just in Australian territory. They take an age to get to the contest, milking as much time off the clock as possible. That gives the Australian TV pundits plenty of time to whinge about marginal refereeing decisions.

72 mins: This one’s tidier and Australia get to work on the right. But they only get to phase three when, you guessed it, JOC takes the ball into contact, and is monstered by Lawes who secures the breakdown and resists Australian pressure to earn the penalty.

71 mins: Another poor attacking lineout for Australia, disrupted in flight and stolen by Smith at the back. England kick clear but Arundell infringes the catcher and it’s another attacking lineout 30m from England’s line.

70 mins: England forced to kick to touch just outside their own 22. On comes Henry Arundell. Big ten minutes coming up.

68 mins: England secure the restart and after the long kick, O’Connor hands Lolesio a hospital pass that the young five-eighth does well to keep alive. O’Connor blunders for the umpteenth time soon afterwards, losing the ball on the ground, but there’s a penalty against England on the next phase... only for O’Connor to miss touch with the free-kick! Goodness me, JOC has had a shocker since coming on.

PENALTY! Australia 17-25 England (Farrell, 67)

Farrell has been good tonight, and it was his kick that set up Nowell on that attack, and his right boot extends England’s lead beyond a converted try.

65 mins: Porter with a gutsy run out of his 22 behind the scrum to set England up to box kick near halfway. England win the tap back and there’s another kick, this one crossfield almost flat to Nowell! He claims, bounces off Koroibete and England have run. From the right play moves infield - penalty advantage - and everything slows as England grind towards the line. Surely they force their way over? Not this time. Held up on the line and Farrell will accept the easy three points.

64 mins: Oh no! The lineout isn’t straight and all that energy around Suncorp Stadium evaporates.

Marcus Smith is back on for the grandstand finish.

63 mins: Excellent maul from England are securing lineout ball on halfway. As bodies drop off Lawes hits the 22 on the left. But England can’t link phases and a loose pass behind the breakdown is recovered by a gold jersey. Both teams kick but Lolesio interrupts the pattern by inviting Wright to run, and boy does he run, darting through the first line of defenders, chipping and chasing over the top, then scragging England’s last man into touch. thrilling rugby from the Wallabies. This game is fracturing.

61 mins: Awful lineout from England on halfway and it’s stolen from Philip. Australia split from left to right with the man advantage, and O’Connor again bungles, kicking out on the full when there was loads of room to run into, men outside him, and acres of field to land the ball into. Shocking decision and execution.

60 mins: And now a scrum penalty goes England’s way for the front row collapsing.

Hugh Lukins has seen enough. “Sick of referees determining who wins a game of rugby, I’m off to watch Aussie Rules. Yellow card for attempted intercept.. give me a break.”

59 mins: Australia win the lineout then try to attack on the shot side, to no avail. Play moves from left to the midfield and England do well to scramble. The Wallabies recycle patiently but fluff their lines when O’Connor fails to pop the inside ball to Koroibete on the burst and England escape. Hmmmm, those three penalty points suddenly look more appetising. But right now, Australia will back themselves to find more scores before the siren.

“England defence looks very porous under pressure,” emails Bryan Lambert. “Time for a new defence coach.” I’m sure he’s not the only person considering that right now.

57 mins: Ignoring that disappointment Australia are soon pouring back on England’s defence. They reach the 22 with penalty advantage, runners coming from all angles, belting England backwards. All the momentum is with the Wallabies. And they kick to the corner! Gutsy move to decline the three points, but England are still defending with only 14 men.

Of course, behind play, another gold jersey is seen limping off. This time it’s big Neville. Will there be any Wallabies left for the third Test?

56 mins: Australia attack from the restart going through hands from left to right until Kerevi straightens up on halfway. The mirror image happens but with Paisami taking contact on the left, setting up a slow ruck that White kicks from behind for a 50/20! That was huge from the Wallaby half, and he is delighted. But hang on, the TMO is involved checking the centimere of the 50/20. The tackle, which marks the start of the movement, was inside Australia’s half, so the throw is England’s, not the Wallabies’.

55 mins: If England don’t see this through they will only have themselves to blame. It was 19-0 remember.

PENALTY! Australia 17-22 England (Lolesio, 54)

Lolesio dabs over the simple penalty and the Wallabies are now flying home with a wet sail.

Yellow Card! (Smith, 54)

Another solid lineout, Australia reject the maul and start flipping the ball around through White and Bell, but the ball goes to ground... and the reason it does is a deliberate knock-on from Smith! Time for an England player to head to the bin!

53 mins: Australia secure their own lineout ball on halfway. Leota smashes into the England defence , and at the ruck Underhill concedes a penalty. The Wallabies kick to the left corner. Can they make it three tries from three attacks?

51 mins: So despite England dominating most of this contest, Australia lead the try-count 2-1 and are still very much in the game.

Behind play another Wallaby is down. Sio this time, only just on as a replacement, clutching his left shoulder after putting himself in a poor tackling position.

CONVERTED TRY! Australia 14-22 England (Kerevi, 49)

The lineout is secured and the maul forms. England do well to hold it up but as play splinters Valetini then Tupou, then Bell, drive at England near the line. There’s a penalty on the play as Hooper tries to draw English defenders into the ruck. Nine phases, 10, play finally spreads to the right but England scramble. Back to the left and Tupou is close! The ball comes out, there’s an overlap on the left, catch and pass finds the free man, and it’s Samu Kerevi who dives over! That was a long exhausting drive that was a tribute to patience and industry. Excellent effort from the Wallabies.

Lolesio doesn’t miss. Can he miss?

Samu Kerevi dives to score the second Wallabies try.
Samu Kerevi dives to score the second Wallabies try. Photograph: Darren England/AAP


46 mins: And the scrum goes Australia’s way! A big early hit from the Wallaby pack looks to have been resisted by England but as the mass of humanity wheels around the whistle blows and Australia kick to the left corner.

45 mins: England make a mess of a restart for the first time tonight, allowing the ball to bounce, but Koroibete can’t gather and the Wallabies can’t capitalise. The bounce of the ball didn’t favour the Australian winger there, but if it did, that would surely have been a try. As it is, it’s an England scrum on their own 22.

PENALTY! Australia 7-22 England (Farrell, 43)

A nice settler for England at the start of the second half. The tourists doing it in threes.

42 mins: After another long break, play resumes with an England scrum near halfway on the left wing. The set is solid and England attack down the blind side. The forwards get to work, bulldozing to the line repeatedly until Smith pump fakes and kicks... to nothing. Another wasted opportunity, but play returns to an earlier penalty advantage.

41 mins: So Petaia lasted only a few minutes before failing an HIA, and now his replacement Perese looks set for an extended stint on the sidelines. James O’Connor is the latest Wallaby into the firing line.

41 mins: England’s tackling is as intense as the start of the first half, cutting off Koroibete before he can build up a head of steam. Australia recycle to the right and... oh no.... oh no...Perese goes down without contact and looks in agony clutching his right knee. That does not look good at all. The Wallabies cannot take a trick.


41 mins: Steward claims the restart superbly and England set about consolidating their lead.

Promising first half for England but no Maro for the last 40, it would appear. The courgettes now need to step up...

— robert kitson (@robkitson) July 9, 2022

I’ve just gorged myself on a dangerous volume of jelly snakes to keep me going for the second half. We’ll be back underway in Brisbane soon.

Half-time: Australia 7-19 England

Australia will be thrilled to be hitting the sheds only 12 points down after being outplayed from go to woah at Suncorp Stadium. England controlled the game and played at a fearsome intensity, especially in defence, but perhaps didn’t back themselves to pile on the points when all the momentum was in their favour. The Wallabies showed them how it’s done, capitalising on their solitary incursion.

40 mins: Australia scrum feed on their own 22. It holds, and the Wallabies attack off the back from left to right until the kick down the right channel fails to trouble England’s defence. Hooper is then penalised for a very technical ruck infringement but England miss touch with their free-kick and we’ll pause for orange segments.

39 mins: There’s a long break while England’s lock is attended to on the ground. The No 4 is back on his feet and walking off. It remains to be seen if he passes the imminent HIA.

39 mins: Straight after the restart Itoje goes to ground, and is surely done for the night, after ducking his head into the shoulder of the rampaging Paisami.

CONVERTED TRY! Australia 7-19 England (Tupou, 38)

Solid lineout for the Wallabies and Bell hits the line hard with a penalty advantage. White jags more metres, Paisami gets some carry, Bell smashes the line, and Tupou finishes the job. He owed his side something, and the big lad delivered. Australia score from their first attack of the half.

Lolesio continues his superb goal-kicking form from Perth.

Taniela Tupou responds with a try for the Wallabies.
Taniela Tupou responds with a try for the Wallabies. Photograph: Jono Searle/AAP


35 mins: The scrum on halfway is reset with the referee giving Tupou a long talking to. The second set-piece holds long enough to count before it rolls around far enough for Australia to earn a penalty. The kick goes inside England’s 22 for the first time tonight.

34 mins: Van Poortvliet with another box kick that England regather after a fearsome chase on Koroibete. The intensity of England’s chasers tonight has been something to behold. There’s a sloppy knock-on soon afterwards though and the Wallabies get a scrum feed.

PENALTY! Australia 0-19 England (Farrell, 32)

Five from Five for Farrell. England have not given Australia a sniff at Suncorp Stadium.

31 mins: A maul forms in Australia’s half after England’s lineout. The penalty advantage precedes Van Poortvliet darting off the back into a gap but an obstruction soon follows and play is called back.

29 mins: Another kick in behind, Nowell this time, isolates Koroibete near his line. The chase is superb. Australia forced into the latest hurried clearance to touch. England clearly happy to play the territorial game while they have the ascendancy.

28 mins: Another England lineout win near halfway, another poor Smith kick, but this time it ricochets nicely for Underhill off a Wallaby head. George bursts through, almost clear, but he’s scragged and the defensive scramble is good enough to smuggle England into touch on the right. England are probing, but some very questionable decision making from Smith. Why not try to run the ball against the 14-men?

26 mins: By contrast Van Poortvliet has box-kicked superbly tonight and from his latest the catcher, Lolesio is absolutely pummelled. It sets up good England momentum in midfield, which only grows when Australia try to run clear from their own line. From the clearance England secure lineout ball, Smith kicks - better this time - and Hill leads the charge following a hurried clearance. Australia cannot get a foothold in this match. With 14 men they are at risk of being blown away by halftime.

24 mins: Australia look to rebuild after the restart just inside England’s half and they string a few phases together, although none of them cross the gainline, and it’s little surprise when there’s a turnover. Smith again kicks, and again it’s unconvincing, returning possession to Australia just inside their half.

23 mins: Australia have not fired a shot in the opening quarter. England have been full of intent and deservedly lead.

PENALTY! Australia 0-16 England (Farrell, 23)

Nothing cute from Farrell. He just dabs over the three points from the original penalty under the posts.

Yellow Card (Perese, 22)

The TMO is having a long look at that knock-on from Perese and the decision - very very harshly - is that it was deliberate! To my eyes that was a near-intercept. Anyway, Australia’s substitute back is off for ten minutes. Everything going England’s way tonight so far.

22 mins: England secure lineout ball on the 22 and the maul rumbles 15, then 10, then 5 to go before it crumbles. Penalty advantage, England head from the middle wide to the left, surely a try is forthcoming, but there’s a Gold arm in the way, the ball goes to ground and England will have to make do with a penalty.

20 mins: England cannot capitalise though as after kicking to the 22 on the left, Philip steals the lineout and the clearing kick reaches halfway. Genge does well in the guts but Smith again undoes the momentum with a nothing kick. Australia rebound with pace and dare for the first time tonight. A couple of risky passes stick and Hooper carries over halfway. Could this be the home side’s first look? No. Lawes does superbly at the breakdown to interrupt the ruck and England are back on the front foot.

19 mins: Australia’s second scrum of the night, and their second defeat! Massive shove from England and the penalty again goes against the recalled Tupou.

18 mins: Valetini drills into the England line and gets some go-forward for the Wallabies but England win the next breakdown. It all unravels before the ball comes free though and Australia will feed a scrum.

17 mins: More good hustle from England, this time from Nowell, rag-dolling Wright into touch after a superb box kick down the right touchline. However, off the ball, Genge catches the eye of the TMO for being too aggressive after the play on White. It won’t be an England lineout, it will be an Australian penalty instead. Costly, unnecessary indiscipline.

PENALTY! Australia 0-13 England (Farrell, 15)

From the right of the uprights this time Farrell strokes over his third of the night. England flying.

14 mins: Valetini does well under pressure but England are attacking with their defensive line, suffocating every ball-carrier in gold. This is intimidating, rugby league stuff. Tupou is then penalised for initiating contact without his arms, and England have another shot for goal.

13 mins: The first scrum of the night quickly ends with a free-kick penalty against Tupou and England kick for territory.

12 mins: Australia with their first dangerous run through Koroibete darting in from the left, but there’s no phase play, and almost a costly interception, but Hill cannot hold on with dreams of a 60m try clouding his vision.

PENALTY! Australia 0-10 England (Farrell, 11)

Farrell, just outside the 22m, 15m in from touch, makes no mistake.

10 mins: England with a kickable penalty soon after wrestling the ball away from a Wallaby lineout.

Jordan Petaia has failed his HIA.

9 mins: Australia win their first lineout thrown on halfway before Lolesio chips and chases through the corridor. England deal with it, preceding a set of kick-to-kick that looks to favour Steward who kicks dangerously and chases hard but Wright does well to get out jail on the whitewash and then the tourists concede a breakdown penalty to let the Wallabies off the hook.

7 mins: England have taken the game on at pretty much every opportunity so far tonight. The pack have all hit the line at pace and the backs have shown quick hands. Bright start.

CONVERTED TRY! Australia 0-7 England (Vunipola, 5)

England score seconds after the restart! Simple 5m lineout throw, captured by Lawes, offloaded to Vunipola, and the maul swarmed over the line in the blink of an eye. Blitzkrieg stuff from the tourists.

Farrell curls over beautifully from near the left touchline.

First blood to England.
First blood to England. Photograph: Bradley Kanaris/The RFU/Getty Images


4 mins: England are on the front foot early, working through phases and hitting the line at pace. George and Vunipola both cross the gainline, then the ball goes wide to the left through hands at pace, including a nifty tap-on from Porter I think. Just as momentum starts to build there’s a turnover near the line and the Wallabies clear.

Not good for Australia though with Petaia looking a little wobbly after getting his head position wrong in a tackle. That’ll be an HIA.

3 mins: England win their first lineout throw but they can’t make much of it after the Wallabies pilfer in midfield at the breakdown. It’s soon back in white hands though with Smith going to the sky forcing Petaia to mark.

2 mins: Australia secure the kick0off near their 22, set up a strong base and White kicks down the line. In response England are lively and Genge breaks the line, knocking Hooper to the floor. For some reason England try to grubber through despite numbers wide on the left and Australia boot clear.

Ellis Genge evades the tackle.
Ellis Genge evades the tackle. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images



Owen Farrell gets the action underway in Brisbane.

The Wallabies sing Advance Australia Fair twice, first in the Yugambeh language, supported by the Yugambeh Youth Choir. Excellent work from Rugby Australia this week.

The traditional Welcome to Country has turned into a homecoming rally. 10 minutes after scheduled kick-off Suncorp Stadium is being led in a raucous rendition of “Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi, oi, oi”. To be fair, it’s a damn sight better than the dirge that is God Save The Queen that follows immediately afterwards.

I knew even less about rugby then than I know now, but it was obvious that Mark Ella was a player apart, a man playing the game on a different plane to the mere mortals around him, preternatural balance giving him the time to make perfect decisions and execute them @JPHowcroft

— Gary Naylor (@garynaylor999) July 9, 2022

A worthy name on the trophy.

And now the Wallabies, hitting the Suncorp Stadium turf at greater pace and to the cheers of the crowd in their superb gold jerseys with green artistic detail.

Here come the visitors in their crisp ice white uniforms. 50-odd thousand Queenslanders are not impressed.

Lights are down at Suncorp Stadium as Mitch Tambo takes to the field to sing “You’re the Voice” in Gamilaraay language, supported by other Indigenous performers. It’s rad.

Sam Underhill did not feature in Perth, but he will be vital to England’s chances in Brisbane, especially if he can get the better of Michael Hooper. Rob Kitson has more.

Perhaps the only bright spot to come out of England’s first Test humiliation was Henry Arundell’s cameo. As Gerard Meagher reports, the challenge now is keeping a lid on the hype.

Australia had the game won by the time Arundell scored his debut try but nonetheless he reduced Andrew Kellaway and Noah Lolesio to the slapstick – colliding in a manner of which Laurel and Hardy would have been proud – before dashing into the left-hand corner and evoking memories of Jason Robinson’s try for the British & Irish Lions in Brisbane, where England now find themselves, 21 years ago.

In his weekly The Breakdown column, Rob Kitson laments how rugby is following other sports on the slippery slope towards discourse focusing primarily on controversy, especially online.

Sport is nothing if it prompts only anger. As in all the best drama there have to be shafts of warm emotional light as well. Too much shouty negativity and everybody loses. The moral of this sporting tale? Hack off your audience and the road to perdition awaits.

Morning @JPHowcroft. I have been pretty dismal all week about last Saturday and have low expectations here but I'd also suggest this @SquidgeRugby video is worth viewing. It shows all isn't so deathly bad with England. A shred of hope for Smith/Faz axis?

— Guy Hornsby (@GuyHornsby) July 9, 2022

Conditions: Australia’s east coast has been uncommonly wet and cold this winter. Mercifully it is dry in Brisbane tonight, but the Suncorp Stadium turf will be pretty heavy nonetheless. Otherwise it will be cool and still under the lights.

Today’s venue 🏟

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 🇦🇺#AUSvENG

— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) July 9, 2022

More on Australia’s First Nations jerseys and their significance.

🖤💛❤️💚💙 As we run out tonight in our First Nations jerseys, we recognise the 14 First Nations players who have donned the Wallaby gold before. #Wallabies

— Wallabies (@wallabies) July 9, 2022

The Wallabies will tonight wear their magnificent First Nations jersey and sing the national anthem in the local Yugambeh language. Mike Hytner has more on this excellent initiative to bring rugby closer to Australia’s Indigenous population.

This is a fascinating look at the background of Wallaby wrecking ball Samu Kerevi from Gerard Meagher.

“I had a pretty tough upbringing,” says Kerevi. “My mum had us pre-wedlock, pretty young, around 19-20. It was a pretty difficult situation. They weren’t in the best area and there was a lot of criminal activity. It was my grandmother’s sister’s family, they raised me up – in Fiji everyone who is older is your grandparent. [My grandfather] worked for the Commonwealth at the time and he was posted in the Solomon Islands. My older brother would go with my grandparents, I would go with another set of grandparents and my little brother stayed with my parents because financially they couldn’t support all three of us.

Back to some more pregame analysis, and Rob Kitson has trained his focus on Eddie Jones and how the future of the England coach could come down to the performance of a novice backline.

Jones’s callow backline selection for the allegedly crucial second Test against the Wallabies has raised more than a few eyebrows. Three starting 21-year-olds, a 19-year-old “apprentice” on the bench and a debutant who used to captain the University of Sydney? If England’s absolute priority is to win right here, right now then the team sheet does not obviously reflect it.

Speaking of Mr Brace, here he is handling the toss. Courtney Lawes called correctly and England will kick-off.

🤝 @wallabies #AUSvENG

— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) July 9, 2022

Referee: Former Belgium international Andrew Brace is your whistleblower tonight. He’ll hope to have less of an impact than James Doleman last weekend.

Andrew Brace
The man in the middle. Photograph: Stephen White/CameraSport/Getty Images

Pretty much what you’d expect from Australia’s players and staff in front of the press.

England did the media rounds during the week, and I am full of admiration for Ellis Genge’s straightforward contribution. “We’ve got to be better everywhere,” he said. “We’ve got to be better because we lost.” Brilliant. More of this please media officers.

Mako Vunipola veered more into the backs-against-the-wall platitudes, such as: “Being able to stick in the trenches with your brothers next to you … that is the feeling you started playing rugby for, being there with your mates, having fun.”

While Eddie Jones put the cart before the horse, saying: “This game is the perfect practice for the World Cup.”

Meanwhile, over in Dunedin, Ireland have stunned the All Blacks to earn a first ever Test victory in New Zealand! Wowsers.

Australia’s selection analysis begins with the news that the 135kg bundle of fun Taniela Tupou returns.

The massive prop is one of a raft of changes from the first Test, mostly caused by injuries, but also, in the case of Darcy Swain, for suspension.

If it’s analysis on England’s selections you’re after, look no further.

England XV

Eddie Jones has made four changes to his starting XV, headlined by debuts to Guy Porter (#13) and Tommy Freeman (11) as well as a first start to Jack van Poortvliet (9). In the pack, Sam Underhill (7) replaces the injured Tom Curry.

There are further changes on the bench with Will Joseph a late replacement for Jack Willis, meaning England have two apprentices on the pine.

With one hour until kick-off, a reminder of how we line-up today ⏰@O2 | #WearTheRose

— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) July 9, 2022

Australia XV

Injuries and suspension have resulted in the Wallabies making seven changes to their matchday squad. Into the XV come the fit-again Taniela Tupou (#3), backs Tom Wright (14) and Hunter Paisami (13), with Jordan Petaia (15) and Matt Philip (4) both promoted from the bench. Nick Frost and Izaia Perese take their places on the pine.

🦘 Your 23 to line up at @SuncorpStadium tonight.

🗓 TONIGHT, 7:55pm AEST
🏟 Suncorp Stadium
📺 @stansportau & @channel9#Wallabies #AUSvENG @eToroAU #thisisqueensland #visitbrisbane @Queensland

— Wallabies (@wallabies) July 9, 2022

The victory over England in Perth has put an unfamiliar spring in the step of Australian rugby. In the Wallaby-focussed scene-setter Angus Fontaine suggests there could be plenty of substance to justify the hype.

In the first Test, stars fell only for new ones to align and guide the men in gold to a famous victory. Now Australia are one-nil up and entering a Meanjin cauldron where they have won their last 10 matches – two over New Zealand and France, and three against South Africa. With Yugambeh on their lips and Dave Rennie strumming the tune, the Wallabies and their fans may finally be singing as one.

Rob Kitson sets the scene from Brisbane, attempting to balance England’s immediate priorities with those hoving into view.

All things are relative, with England’s 76-0 defeat in this same city on the “Tour of Hell” in 1998 an all-time lowlight, but pre-match talk of performance being more important for Jones’s side than this weekend’s outcome has still jarred given the state of this series. Test rugby is not meant to be about next year, next month or even next week. If England do return home empty-handed and suggesting it mattered little, international rugby union will be the loser.


Hello everybody and welcome to live coverage of the second Test between Australia and England. Kick-off at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium is 7.55pm local time, which is 10.55am in the UK.

The first instalment of this three-Test series was far from a work of art but that should take nothing away from Australia’s gritty backs-to-the-wall victory on an evening where pretty much everything that could go wrong, seemed to.

The aftermath has focussed more on England’s shortcomings than Australia’s strengths. The inability to convert a man advantage. The stuttering 10-12 combination. And most significantly the trajectory of the side under Eddie Jones, just a year out from a World Cup.

Against a buoyant Wallabies outfit at a notoriously difficult destination for visiting teams across many sporting codes, the stakes are high in the touring camp. Defeat could herald Prime Ministerial levels of pressure on the England head coach.

We have plenty of time before kick-off to get stuck into the context of tonight’s match, consider how both sides are shaping up with the World Cup on the horizon, or throw around the merits of Iggy Pop’s documentary series on the origins of punk, of which I am a latecomer and enjoyed a lot earlier this week. Get in touch via email or tweet me @JPHowcroft if that’s easier.



Jonathan Howcroft

The GuardianTramp

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