Even a victory may not be enough for Ian Foster to keep his job when New Zealand lock horns with South Africa once again at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Foster was under massive pressure before the Rugby Championship started and a 26-10 defeat at the hands of the Springboks last weekend ensured the writing would appear to be on the wall for the All Blacks head coach.

That loss in Mbombela pushed New Zealand down to their worst ever world ranking of fifth, and they face another almighty battle against the world champions in Johannesburg.

Australia fought back to start the tournament with a 41-26 victory over Argentina, so the Pumas will be hungry for revenge at Estadio Bicentenario in round two.

Stats Perform preview the matches using Opta data.

 

SOUTH AFRICA V NEW ZEALAND

FORM

It is now five losses in six Tests for the wounded All Blacks and three defeats in a row. Only once in the past 70 years have they lost more than three games in a row - suffering five consecutive defeats from July to August in 1998.

South Africa have won six of their past seven home games in the Rugby Championship, including four on the bounce. It is the third time they have won four on the spin at home in the competition and they have never managed five straight wins in such fixtures.

The Springboks have won their past two meetings with New Zealand. The last time they won more in succession against the All Blacks was a three-game streak from July to September in 2009.

ONES TO WATCH

The vastly experienced Duane Vermeulen returns at number eight for South Africa after recovering from a knee injury. He replaces Jasper Wiese and will need to hit the ground running.

A standout selection for New Zealand was the inclusion of Richie Mo'unga at fly-half, with Beauden Barrett dropping to the bench a week after he was involved in a nasty collision with Kurt-Lee Arendse. Foster will look to Mo'unga to provide control and set the tempo, provided he gets the ball to enable him to pull the strings.

ARGENTINA V AUSTRALIA

FORM

Australia have lost only one of their past 14 Tests against Argentina, winning 11 and drawing two. The Wallabies have won their last three versus the Pumas; 10 of the wins being decided by margins of at least 10 points.

Argentina are winless in 10 Rugby Championship/Tri Nations game, losing eight and drawing two. They have lost their last seven in the competition and squandered a 19-10 half-time lead last weekend.

It is now five Rugby Championship/Tri Nations victories in a row for Dave Rennie's Australia side, their longest winning run in the competition.

ONES TO WATCH

Former Australia head coach Michael Cheika has turned to Gonzalo Bertranou to start at scrum-half. The pivot must get Argentina ticking and put the Wallabies on the back foot.

Another cruel injury blow for Quade Cooper has opened the door for James O'Connor to start at fly-half for Australia. The number 10 will know he has a great opportunity to put on a show just over a year before the World Cup starts.

New Zealand have dropped to an all-time low of fifth in the world rankings after losing to South Africa in their Rugby Championship opener on Saturday.

The All Blacks started the defence of their title with a 26-10 defeat at the hands of the world champions at Mbombela Stadium.

It was a third consecutive loss for New Zealand, representing their worst run since they were beaten five times in a row back in 1998.

The Springboks piled more pressure on under-fire All Blacks head coach Steve Foster, who vowed to fight on after a first ever home series loss to Ireland.

Another setback in Nelspruit has dropped New Zealand below England just over a year before the Rugby World Cup starts in France.

It is now five defeats in six Tests for the All Blacks, who face South Africa once again at Ellis Park this weekend with Foster's job seemingly on the line.

Ireland are top of the rankings ahead of France, with the Springboks third.

Dave Rennie says captain Michael Hooper has shown "true courage" by withdrawing from Australia's Rugby Championship opener against Argentina.

The flanker opted against facing the Pumas at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas on Saturday, as he is not in the right frame of mind to play.

James Slipper will step in to lead the Wallabies in Mendonza, with Hooper heading home and Fraser McReight getting a late call to take the number seven shirt.

Australia head coach Rennie praised Hooper for making such a brave decision.

"Michael's one of the most professional and impressive men I've coached I know this has been a difficult decision for him," he said.

"He's shown true courage by acknowledging where he is at and acting on it.

"We will support him in any way we can and I know the team will be focused on getting the job done tomorrow."

Hooper said: "While this decision did not come easily I know it is the right one for me and the team at this point in time.

"My whole career I’ve looked to put the team first and I don't feel I am able to fulfil my responsibilities at the moment in my current mindset."

Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos says Hooper will be given all the support he needs.

He said: "Michael is an incredible leader, it takes a brave man to identify where he’s at and come forward whilst having the best interests of the team at heart.

"His wellbeing is and remains the highest priority right now where Rugby Australia and the Australian Rugby community will do everything to support him and his family."

South Africa are favourites to inflict a third consecutive defeat on New Zealand for the first time since 1998 when they meet in a huge Rugby Championship battle on Saturday.

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster is under pressure after New Zealand lost a home series to Ireland for the first time last month.

A trip to face the world champions twice at the start of the Rugby Championship would appear to be make or break for Foster, who needs his side to step up in the first game of the tournament at Mbombela Stadium.

New Zealand won the title last year, but have lost their way just 13 months before the Rugby World Cup starts in France.

Meanwhile, Argentina do battle with Australia at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas on the opening day, with the Wallabies having been so short of success away from home as Michael Cheika looks to mastermind a victory over his former team.

Stats Perform preview the Tests in Nelspruit and Mendoza with the use of Opta facts.

SOUTH AFRICA V NEW ZEALAND

FORM

South Africa start the Rugby Championship on the back of a 2-1 series win over Wales and have been victorious in six of their past seven Tests on home soil, conceding 20 points or more in just one of those matches.

It is just one win in five Tests for the out-of-sorts All Blacks, who last lost three in a row 24 years ago. They were beaten in five consecutive matches from July to August 1998, with the Springboks winning two of those contests.

New Zealand have a strong record in South Africa, though, having won their past four away Tests against the Springboks

ONES TO WATCH

Damian Willemse caught the eye against Wales, ranking in the top five for both metres gained (190m – third) and line breaks (three – joint-fourth) among players from Tier One nations in the July Tests. The All Blacks will have to prevent the in-form full-back from doing further damage.

Number eight Ardie Savea is among the senior figures who Foster will be counting on to have a big influence. Savea was the only player to score three tries versus a Tier One nation last month, striving in vain to prevent Ireland from making history.

 

​ARGENTINA V AUSTRALIA

FORM

Argentina have a spring in their step after a 2-1 series victory over Scotland and have their sights on back-to-back wins for the first time since November 2020 as Cheika finds himself in the strange position of plotting Australia's downfall.

The Wallabies are smarting from a series loss to England on home soil and have won only one of their past nine Tests outside of Australia – versus Japan last October.

Australia have become accustomed to getting the better of the Pumas, though, winning four and drawing two of the previous six encounters. Six of the past seven Tests between the two nations in Argentina have gone the way of the touring side.

ONES TO WATCH

Argentina's dramatic series win over Scotland came courtesy of a last-gasp try from Emiliano Boffelli, who also scored 14 points with the boot and provided an assist.

Quade Cooper returns from injury to start at fly-half for Australia. Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie will expect the number 10 and scrum-half Nic White to dictate the tempo.

Under-fire New Zealand head coach Ian Foster has made four changes to his XV for the All Blacks' first Test against South Africa, bidding to "add new experiences and grow our game".

New Zealand begin their Rugby Championship campaign with a double-header against the Springboks as they look to bounce back from a series defeat at home to Ireland.

Sevu Reece has made way for Caleb Clarke for the Mbombela opener, while Scott Barrett comes into the second row for the injured Brodie Retallick. Samisoni Taukei'aho and Angus Ta'avao will also play, as Codie Taylor and Nepo Laulala both drop out of the 23-man squad.

Tyrel Lomax and Ethan de Groot make the squad for the first time in the 2022 international season, starting from the bench.

There has been much talk around Foster's future after the All Blacks' first home series loss since 1994, but he is looking forward to the challenge of these two matches.

"What a great way to start this year's Rugby Championship," Foster said. "It's always an exciting tournament to be part of.

"This year's draw means we have a massive challenge of two games here in the South Africa. We have settled in well in Mbombela and are preparing for what is always an intense game against our old foe.

"Many of our squad are here in South Africa for the first time. This gives us another opportunity to add new experiences and grow our game." 

 

New Zealand team: Jordie Barrett, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Caleb Clarke, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; George Bower, Samisoni Taukei'aho, Angus Ta'avao, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Akira Ioane, Sam Cane (captain), Ardie Savea.

Replacements: Dane Coles, Ethan De Groot, Tyrel Lomax, Tupou Vaa'i, Shannon Frizell, Finlay Christie, Richie Mo'unga, Quinn Tupaea.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson has offered no guarantees over All Blacks head coach Ian Foster's long-term future, stating "he’s certainly the person to lead the team to South Africa".

Foster came under increasing pressure after Ireland secured a first Test series win over the All Blacks in New Zealand this month.

Robinson stated that 2-1 defeat was "not acceptable", but Foster has kept his job and vowed to fight on as his side prepare to start the Rugby Championship with two away fixtures against the Springboks.

Yet CEO Robinson did not provide unequivocal backing for Foster when he was interviewed by Newstalk ZB at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

He said when asked about Foster's future: "He's certainly the person to lead the team to South Africa, and we're making sure they've got everything possible in the way of resourcing and support to make sure that's successful."

Former All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen this week slammed NZ Rugby, claiming the relationship between All Blacks players and the board is "probably the worst it's ever been".

Hansen lashed out over the treatment of Foster and former Black Ferns coach Glenn Moore, who resigned in April, making it clear that he was not impressed with the governing bodies conducting reviews over their futures.

The outspoken Hansen also highlighted the decision to bring in investment from US private equity firm Silver Lake as he accused the governing body of not "doing their job right".

Robinson has attempted to set the record straight.

He said: "One thing that seems to be coming through in some media is constant referral to reviews... that's simply not the case.

"But something that is very regular in all our environments is there are constant conversations about how we improve, and that’s a big part of the All Blacks as well."

He added with regards to Hansen's criticism: "I know he’s incredibly protective of Ian, and he's looking out for his mate, and I think we all understand that, too. Certainly we'll have a chat when the time is right.

"Regarding the players, we're working hard and well in that space around things in general, but also with regard to a new partner coming on with Silver Lake."

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has been talked up as a potential replacement for Foster, but Robinson refused to be drawn on speculation.

He said: "I understand the sentiment of our fans. That's been coming through loud and clear. We know Razor [Robertson] has a huge amount to offer the game in New Zealand... but to comment any further wouldn't be appropriate."

Andy Farrell has signed a new deal to remain Ireland head coach until at least August 2025.

Farrell has been talked up as a potential successor to England boss Eddie Jones, but the 47-year-old on Friday put pen to paper on a two-year extension to his Ireland contract.

The Englishman masterminded a historic first Test series win for Ireland over the All Blacks in New Zealand this month, with a 2-1 triumph putting them top of the world rankings.

Farrell replaced Joe Schmidt after the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and will be in charge when Ireland attempt to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for the first time in France next year. 

He said: "I am happy to extend my contract with Irish Rugby for a further two years. As a group we have made it clear that we are building towards the 2023 Rugby World Cup, and we have taken some decent strides in that regard in recent months.

"Ahead of the tour to New Zealand myself and David [Nucifora, Irish Rugby Football Union performance director] looked at the opportunities and challenges facing the national squad after the tournament in France.

"I am excited about continuing to work with the group and with the next generation of Irish international players."

Nucifora said: "Andy is one of the outstanding coaches in world rugby and his work in leading the transition within the national team since the 2019 Rugby World Cup has been exceptional.

"Ireland are currently the number one ranked team in the world, an incredibly tough five match tour of New Zealand was a success on several levels and a Triple Crown was secured in the 2022 Six Nations Championship.

"A coach of Andy's calibre is always going to be in high demand, and we are delighted that he has agreed to extend his contract with the IRFU. 

"This new deal, agreed prior to the Tour of New Zealand, allows us to plan beyond the 2023 Rugby World Cup with the certainty that one of the top coaching talents in the game is spearheading the national programme."

Steve Hansen has slammed New Zealand Rugby and believes the relationship between All Blacks players and the board is "probably the worst it's ever been".

Former New Zealand head coach Hansen lashed out over the treatment of under-fire All Blacks boss Ian Foster and former Black Ferns coach Glenn Moore, who resigned in April.

Foster, who was appointed as Hansen's successor in 2019, faced questions over his future after a recent series defeat to Ireland that was labelled "not acceptable" by New Zealand Rugby (NZR) CEO Mark Robinson.

The 57-year-old Foster was ultimately backed to remain in the role following an NZR review, while Moore quit after the governing body published a review into the culture and environment of the New Zealand women's side.

Hansen, who masterminded the All Blacks' 2015 Rugby World Cup triumph, has launched a scathing attack on the way NZR is going about its business.

He said in an interview with Today FM: "They've come out and aired all their dirty washing in the front part of the property rather than out the back.

"So their job [NZR] is to run it with strength and leadership but in a way that you're going to look after the people that work for you.

"Otherwise, you'll end up with a high turnover of staff which I think that they're having at the moment. So, the relationship between the board and the exec and players at the moment is probably the worst it's ever been."

Hansen also highlighted the decision to bring in investment from US private equity firm Silver Lake as he accused the governing body of not "doing their job right".

He added: "If you look back to when we were really successful from about 2010 through to 2019, which was our most successful era, the board and the exec at the rugby union were humming.

"There was complete togetherness and connection was with the actual All Blacks team."

Hansen backed CEO Robinson but said the long-serving Steve Tew, who previously held that position, should have been persuaded to stay on to provide a period of transition.

"I think he [Robinson] is up to the job, but you've got to remember, he's just in the job," Hansen said. "The period we're going through at the moment with COVID, no one else has ever had to do that in their time."

Hansen said he "can't fathom" why NZR found themselves with Tew and Foster "running the ship" when they are, by his description, "relatively inexperienced".

"Again, that's a board decision," Hansen said. "Mark Robinson is going to be a good CEO, however... everyone is into Sam Cane about his captaincy... I remember in 2007 Richie McCaw was the worst captain we've ever had according to the media and public, well he went on to become the greatest captain we've ever had."

Ian Foster is confident he has full backing from the New Zealand squad, despite two of his assistant coaches losing their jobs after a poor run of form.

All Blacks management announced on Sunday that John Plumtree and Brad Mooar have left their roles on the back of a first home series defeat to Ireland last weekend.

Jason Ryan will join from Crusaders as Plumtree's successor as forwards coach ahead of the Rugby Championship, which begins in two weeks' time.

Former Ireland boss Joe Schmidt has also now started his role as an independent selector and will work closely with Foster, who looks set to retain his job heading into the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Amid growing calls for Scott Robertson to take over as New Zealand head coach, Foster is focusing on the task at hand.

"I believe I've got the group and now I've got to deliver the plan," he told Sky Sport. "Part of the changes I've made is about making sure I'm not taking for granted their belief in the direction that I'm heading. 

"But I'm also listening to them and making the changes that we all feel we need for this team."

Regarding whether he has the absolute backing of the players, Foster said: "That's one of the questions I got them to talk about.

"I'm not in the room. It was just them and with all the noise around, there's been a lot of people putting me under pressure for a long, long time, so in many ways this isn't new.

"They also did a similar process with New Zealand Rugby as is normal after a series. I think we got a clear mandate that there's a strong belief in the direction we're going.

"But there's a feeling we need to get a new voice in there and make some changes to get the gains we really want to get."

A defiant Ian Foster has vowed to prove he is the right man to coach New Zealand after naming his squad for the Rugby Championship.

Foster knows he is under pressure after the All Blacks suffered a first home series defeat to Ireland last weekend.

The under-fire head coach was due to face the media last Sunday, but the press conference was cancelled at late notice and there had been no word from the New Zealand camp until Foster fronted up in Auckland on Friday.

The 57-year-old has retained Sam Cane as captain following reports he would be replaced, while prop Ethan de Groot and loose forward Shannon Frizell replace Karl Tu'inukuafe and Pita Gus Sowakula in a 36-man squad.

Foster says he will fight on as New Zealand prepare to start the Rugby Championship with a clash against world champions South Africa at Mbombela Stadium on August 6.

He said: "As a head coach, there have been a lot of questions the past couple of weeks. Let me tell you who I am, I'm strong, I'm resilient, I think I've proven that.

"I believe I've got a great feel and relationship with my players. I'm strategic and I'm also accountable and I take that on board.

"I promise you, I understand that and I'm really excited about the chance to show you what this team is made of, working alongside the players we've selected in this squad."

Foster revealed Joe Schmidt will not travel to South Africa but is helping him with "strategic areas" of the game and says he will make changes to his staff.

There have been calls for Scott Robertson to take over as All Blacks head coach, but Foster is confident he can turn things around ahead of the World Cup next year.

"There's no doubt about that I’m under pressure," he added. "But can I just say, I'm always under pressure?

"I've always felt that pressure and external people will try to intensify that pressure but it doesn't change the fact that as an All Blacks coach you live in that world all the time.

"Does it hurt? Yes it does. The key thing for me is making sure everything I do is about ensuring we have robust processes and make sure we have got the right people sitting in the right seats."

Foster says he can see why the decision to cancel a media conference the day after losing to Ireland did not go down well.

"I understand the frustration [about the cancelled news conference]," he said.

"All I want to say on that regard is that I as a head coach would never ever not communicate with my fanbase when it’s expected I communicate with them.

"I know my responsibility is to talk to the fanbase and if I knew I was supposed to do that, I would do that all the time.

"I love the passion of our fans and I love the opinions. That is what it is, but I guess all I can assure people is the person that I am and my role in this team.

"I'm not here for any other reason than to do the best I can for this team. Right now, I can understand frustrations that we've lost a series, but my job is to put perspective around that, to make sure we take the lessons and this All Blacks team comes out stronger, I want to be part of the solution.

"Will there be some changes? Yes there will, but like I said, I'll let you know shortly."

 

New Zealand Rugby Championship squad:

Forwards: Dane Coles, Samisoni Taukeiaho, Codie Taylor. Aidan Ross, George Bower, Nepo Laulala, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Ethan de Groot, Angus Ta'avao, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu, Tupou Vaa'i, Sam Whitelock, Sam Cane (captain),  Shannon Frizell, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea, Hoskins Sotutu.
 

Backs: Finlay Christie, Folau Fakatava, Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo'unga, Stephen Perofeta, Jack Goodhue, David Havili, Rieko Ioane, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Quinn Tupaea, Jordie Barrett, Caleb Clarke, Leicester Fainga'anuku, Will Jordan, Sevu Reece.
Replacement players travelling to South Africa: Josh Dickson, Braydon Ennor, Tyrel Lomax.

Rugby Australia's chief executive Andy Marinos has condemned the "unacceptable" and "offensive" remarks directed towards England and Eddie Jones in Sydney.

England responded to defeat in the first Test by triumphing in the following two meetings to secure back-to-back series victories over the Wallabies Down Under.

The Red Rose had to deal with a late push from Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where they held firm to win 21-17 and seal the slender series win.

Australian-born England coach Jones was greeted with abuse in the aftermath from the SCG crowd, berated as a "traitor" on two occasions by different spectators.

Jones – who was head coach of his country between 2001 and 2005, but has been in charge of England since 2015 – labelled the perpetrators as "clowns", and Marinos has subsequently apologised.

"The offensive remarks made by spectators in the members' areas towards England staff were unacceptable – and not representative of the values of rugby," a Rugby Australia statement read.

"We have a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate behaviour, and we are working with Venues NSW on appropriate sanctions for these individuals.

"Rugby prides itself on values of respect and integrity – as seen in the players of both teams after the final whistle of a hard-fought series at the SCG on Saturday night.

"It is our expectation that spectators adhere to these values of respect and integrity when attending rugby matches – and, we would hope, in society in general.

"Please, cheer for your team with all that you have – but please, always show respect for others."

In a further incident at the SCG, another spectator was caught on film climbing onto the roof of the grandstand and urinating, and Marinos confirmed the fan received a lifetime ban.

"The deplorable actions of the alleged intruder that made his way to the roof of the grandstand were disgraceful and dangerous," the statement added.

"This individual has been issued with a life ban from Rugby Australia events – and we will continue to support the authorities in their handling of the matter."

Eddie Jones hit back at Australia fans who called him a "traitor" during an altercation after England completed a series win at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The Red Rose pulled off a repeat of their tour triumph in 2016 by making it back-to-back series wins Down Under, beating the Wallabies 21-17 in the deciding Test on Saturday.

Jones was head coach of his country between 2001 and 2005, but has been in charge of England since 2015 following a spell with Japan.

After recovering from going 1-0 down in the series with a 30-28 loss in Perth, England won 25-17 in Brisbane last weekend before sealing the series in the decider.

Unsavoury scenes followed the match at the SCG, as two separate incidents emerged on social media that showed Australia fans baiting Jones, with one heading to the front of a stand to shout "You're a traitor" at the Tasmanian, to which the furious 62-year-old responded with, "What did you say? Come here and say it. Come here and say it."

A second video shows another fan also calling Jones a "traitor", which he again took exception to.

When asked for comment over the incident by the Sydney Morning Herald, Jones said: "Clowns think they have full go to abuse coaches."

It was not the first time in the series that Jones felt he had experienced abuse from home fans, suggesting he had faced similar jibes after the defeat in Perth.

"You have got 48,000 people all full of drink and all they want to see is their team win," he said. "When you turn them away, it is a great experience. A great feeling.

"I was coming out from the coaches' box and they all have their scarves on. When did Australians start wearing scarves? It is all the rage isn’t it? They are not so smart now.

"Before the game they are coming up saying to me [saying]: 'You are going to get belted tonight.' Now they are a little bit more quiet. So that's good. I enjoy that."

Chile pulled off an upset by overcoming the United States 31-29 in Colorado on Saturday to qualify for the Rugby World Cup for the first time ever.

The South American nation lost last week's first leg 22-21 in Santiago, but pulled off a huge result away from home to advance by a single point on aggregate.

Not until the 75th minute of the second leg, when Santiago Videla kicked over a penalty, did Chile take the lead for the first time.

Pablo Lemoine's side, who were 19-0 down at one stage in the second leg, will now join England, Argentina, Japan and Samoa in Pool D at next year's tournament in France.

USA will have a second chance to advance when they compete in a final qualification tournament in November, where Portugal, Kenya and the loser of the Asia/Pacific play-off await.

Speaking on the back of an historic win for his side, Chile captain Martin Sigren said: "It really means so much... the sacrifices that this team has made. 

"There were times when it seemed like it was uphill. I want to thank all the family who came here. They were the ones who kept us pushing."

Ryan Jones says he feels like his "world is falling apart" after the former Wales captain was diagnosed with early-onset dementia at the age of 41.

Jones revealed he was given a diagnosis of probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) last December.

The back row won 75 caps for Wales and three for the British and Irish Lions on the 2005 tour of New Zealand in an illustrious career.

Jones said in an interview with The Sunday Times: "I feel like my world is falling apart.

"I am really scared. I lived 15 years of my life like a superhero and I'm not. I don't know what the future holds. 

"I am a product of an environment that is all about process and human performance. I'm not able to perform like I could. I just want to lead a happy, healthy, normal life.

"I feel that's been taken away and there is nothing I can do."

The ex-Ospreys skipper says he was initially diagnosed with depression after retiring seven years ago and started to have short-term memory issues, while also becoming forgetful.

He added: "I've got three children and three step-children and I want to be a fantastic dad. I can't train harder, I can't play the referee. I don't know what the rules of the game are anymore.

"We don't know where to go, where to find support. We haven't got any friends in this space. It terrifies me. That's the fear. That's the bit that never leaves. That’s the bit I can’t shake off."

Jones says more must be done to prevent an increasing number of players from suffering.

"It [rugby union] is walking headlong with its eyes closed into a catastrophic situation," he added.

 

Australia head coach Dave Rennie refused to use the Wallabies' lengthy injury list as an excuse for their series defeat to England.

Eddie Jones' side added to their tour triumph in 2016 by making it back-to-back series wins Down Under, beating Australia 21-17 in the deciding Test on Saturday.

The tourists fell behind in the series after going down 30-28 in Perth, but levelled up with a 25-17 win in Brisbane last weekend.

Australia started brightly on Saturday, moving 10-3 ahead after Tom Wright's try. England recovered as Freddie Steward and Marcus Smith went over to turn the contest firmly in their favour at 21-10, and stood firm after Folau Fainga'a powered over later on.

The hosts were without 11 players due to injury or suspension, but Rennie believes his side should still have had enough quality to overcome England.

"We had a good enough side on the field to win tonight," he told reporters. "What it highlights is we're creating really good depth and I think a lot of guys who've got an opportunity have really stood up.

"You've just got to find a way, don't you? Injury is part of the game and we did enough tonight, but you have to be clinical and take opportunities.

"We created a lot of opportunities. I think we went in with the right plan, we just weren't clinical enough.

"If we turn a couple of those opportunities early on in the game, we start applying pressure to them. It's disappointing because at this level you have you got to take your chances and we left a lot out there."

Australia captain Michael Hooper conceded the series loss hurts, and also called on his team-mates to become more clinical.

"Dave's talked about just being clinical in those situations, you want to be a team that can grind out a win," he said.

"They get to your end, they take points, pick up some scraps there, get more points, and then you have to start looking at the line, try to maul, we can't just do 3-6-9 walk on them.

"Their ability to stack points on was a credit to them across the series, and they just keep applying that pressure with their kick game. 

"England did really well there. They had injuries too so they grinded out a series win.

"In terms of our learnings there's a heap for us. We've blooded some new players so that's a great thing. With injury comes opportunity.

"We were hurting last week, now we're going to be hurting even more. So it's going to be a long three weeks until we play again."

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