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."

Handre Pollard claimed a 20-point haul as South Africa beat Wales 30-14 to win the Test series in Cape Town on Saturday.

Wales secured a historic first victory in South Africa last weekend to set up a decider at DHL Stadium, but the world champions outscored Wayne Pivac's side three tries to one to take the series 2-1.

Pollard put the Springboks in front with an early penalty and the fly-half then powered over from close range for a try following a sustained period of pressure.

Wales hit back courtesy of Tommy Reffell's first international try and Dan Biggar's penalty reduced the deficit to two points after South Africa lost Cheslin Kolbe to injury.

But the world champions were outmuscling the tourists at the set-piece and Bongi Mbonambi marked his 50th Test by charging over from the back of a ruck following a lineout late in the first half.

Another two Biggar penalties made it 17-14, but captain Siya Kolisi crossed after South Africa went through the phases just before the hour mark and Pollard added the extras.

Eben Etzebeth was then given a great ovation after he was replaced in his 100th Test, with the excellent Pollard making no mistakes with another two penalties late on as the Springboks deservedly wrapped up the series.

Eddie Jones believes England demonstrated they are heading in the right direction following the gutsy series victory over Australia.

Jones' side added to 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.

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

They made a slow start to the third Test, falling 10-3 behind after Tom Wright crossed for the hosts. Yet England recovered as Freddie Steward and Marcus Smith went over to turn the contest firmly in their favour at 21-10, and they stood firm after Folau Fainga'a powered over later on.

It meant England lifted the Ella-Mobbs Trophy, justifying the backing from Jones. Despite a disappointing Six Nations campaign, Jones maintained a constant view that his team were making significant advances, which he feels has been justified by this series victory.

The head coach hopes the progress will continue as the 2023 World Cup in France edges closer, with his side aiming to go one better after losing 32-12 to South Africa in the 2019 final.

"We weren't at our best in this Test, but we kept fighting, and we kept in the game – particularly the defence of our finishers at the end was outstanding – and that got us the result," Jones told Sky Sports.

"We were just a little bit off, but we kept fighting, and it was a great effort by the leaders. It's a really positive step. We've always felt the team is going in the right direction. Sometimes, the results don't reflect that.

"At the end of the game, we had six players with under 10 caps, so it is an inexperienced squad who will really benefit from an experience like this.

"They understand how hard they have to fight to win a Test match away from home. Some of our guys have now won two series away in Australia. I am so proud of their efforts.

"We are in a good position. We have just got to slowly, slowly keep improving. We want to be at our best by next October."

Wales were forced to make a late change for the decisive third Test against South Africa when Gareth Anscombe was ruled out due to a rib injury.

Anscombe came off the bench to kick the conversion that sealed a dramatic first win for Wales against the Springboks on South African soil last weekend, levelling the series at 1-1.

He will not feature at the DHL Stadium on Saturday after suffering an injury blow, so Rhys Patchell takes his place on the bench.

Captain Dan Biggar was passed fit to start at number 10 after recovering from a shoulder problem.

Wales are eyeing a first series win in South Africa after Wayne Pivac's side snatched their historic success over the world champions in Bloemfontein.

England captain Courtney Lawes hailed the determination of his team-mates after the tourists sealed a series victory over Australia on Saturday.

Eddie Jones' side made it back-to-back series wins Down Under - adding to their 2016 triumph - as they recovered from a slow start to defeat the Wallabies 21-17 in the deciding Test.

The hosts, who won the opening Test 30-28 before they were pegged back 25-17 in the second last weekend, dominated early proceedings at Sydney Cricket Ground, establishing a 10-3 lead thanks to Tom Wright's try.

But England came back before the break through Freddie Steward, while Marcus Smith also crossed in the second half to put the 2003 world champions in control at 21-10 to the good.

Folau Fainga'a went over late on as the hosts set up a grandstand finish, but Lawes and his team-mates stood firm to lift the Ella-Mobbs Cup.

"It really shows what it means for us to play this team," the skipper told Sky Sports. "We had a tough start to this series, but have showed what we're made of.

"We didn't come out how we wanted to today. The message at half-time was to stick together. We knew what we wanted to do. We showed what it means to play for this team.

"We did what we wanted to do to improve week on week. It's a proud moment, for sure.

"We've still got a lot to learn. We can win a game like this where you don't really fire a shot, and you take your chances when you can. We did a lot of defending."

Meanwhile, try scorer Steward also heaped praise on the efforts of Jones' side, saying: "The boys just dug in and gave everything. To win with an effort like that, it was a proper Test match. It's special.

"To come here, dig in with an effort like that at the back end of the season is pretty awesome. It is a great way to end the season especially having been one down is amazing."

England made sure of only their second series victory in Australia after coming from behind to beat the Wallabies 21-17 in the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Eddie Jones' side recovered in impressive fashion from a slow start that saw them trail 10-3 after Tom Wright's try.

The tourists hit back with Freddie Steward and Marcus Smith crossing, and they came under late pressure before securing another triumph Down Under, six years after their first.

England weathered a storm during the early stages; Noah Lolesio missing a first kick of the series before the right boot of Farrell put Jones' team in front.

The hosts soon established the lead that their early pressure deserved. Marika Koroibete's lay-off released Wright, who broke from just inside his own half and exchanged passes with Nic White before going over.

Lolesio booted the conversion and added a penalty, but England finished the half strongly. After Farrell trimmed the gap with a penalty, England edged their noses back in front at 11-10 when Steward crossed in the corner after a lengthy spell of pressure.

Farrell could not add the extras but stretched the England advantage with a penalty early in the second half, before Smith pounced on a poor lineout with a 55-metre sprint for the line.

Folau Fainga'a powered over 14 minutes from time to set up a nervy finish, but the tourists stood firm to seal the series.

Andy Farrell believes Ireland have achieved their biggest feat yet by winning a series in New Zealand, a result that he suggests "won't be done again".

The tourists were humbled by the All Blacks in the first of three Tests but responded in sensational fashion with back-to-back victories – their first ever away wins in New Zealand.

A first such series success was secured on Saturday by a 32-22 win in which Ireland dominated the first half and dug in for the second.

And the long-awaited accomplishment is not one Farrell foresees happening again in a hurry.

"This is a special group, you know? To come over here and achieve what they've achieved, it won't be done again," the Ireland coach told Sky Sports. "Knowing what we know, that's not going to happen in the next few years, anyway.

"This is probably the toughest thing to do in world rugby.

"We came over here with task in hand, and we went for it straight from the start, which is great. It's a group of 40 players and a lot of staff, as well.

"We said it was going to be the start of our World Cup year, but I don't know... I think it is probably a little bit bigger than that."

Ireland led by 19 points at half-time, the biggest advantage against New Zealand at that stage of a match in Test history.

Having beaten one of the world's best sides, Farrell's men are confident they can take on any opponents.

"They already do believe that," he said. "They keep turning up and surprising me, certainly. The bunch are just tight, and they really do believe, they really do believe that.

"After the first game, we got held up over the try line five times and made plenty of opportunities in the second game, and they knew there was a better performance in them.

"There certainly was for that first 40, wasn't there? These guys have won a lot of stuff and broke some records – this one will top it, I would have thought."

England head coach Eddie Jones has called for World Rugby to take action and stop the "incessant" interventions from the television match official (TMO) during matches.

Jones' side beat Australia 25-17 last weekend in a second Test that saw 26 penalties, two yellow cards and the TMO heavily involved throughout.

The contest spanned almost two hours, while Ireland's victory over New Zealand on the same day saw three yellows and a red dished out in the first half alone in Dunedin.

Speaking on the back of his side's victory in Brisbane that levelled up the three-match series, Jones said rugby union's laws are now "out of control".

And in his final news conference ahead of Saturday's decisive third Test in Sydney, Jones went one step further by urging the sport's top governing body to intervene now.

"I don’t want to see a New Zealand-Ireland game like that ever again," Jones said. 

"Otherwise imagine at the next World Cup … you play a quarter-final, you get a red card and two yellows, you're down to 12 men and it's just ridiculous. 

"I've been speaking to a few ex-coaches. The referees, coaches and players need to get together and say 'This is the game we want. This is the game people want to see'. 

"I'm certainly going to be pushing for it because I've had enough."

The issues previously raised by Jones were further highlighted on Wednesday in the thrilling and high-tempo State of Origin decider.

"We've got to keep the game safe, don't get me wrong, but accidental head contact and this incessant use of the TMO, we've got to cut that out," Jones added.

"We've got to get a better balance in the game. There's a rhythm to how rugby is looked at and officiated and we've got to get in a good rhythm again. 

"We don't have it at the moment. Every time we get a flow in the game, there's a stoppage.

"We've just gone too far down one road. There are discussions all the time and World Rugby are doing their best. 

"But certainly before November I'm going to be agitating for something like [a summit]. Let's get the game going."

Eddie Jones implored his England side to be "even better" in the Test series decider against Australia, where he insisted the mindsets of his players will be vital.

England ended a four-match losing streak by defeating Australia 25-17 in Brisbane to level the three-Test series, teeing up a winner-takes-all decider in Sydney on Saturday.

The tourists have won four of their past five games in Oceania, having done so just once in their previous 12 away matches against teams from that continent.

Jack van Poortvliet impressed in the second Test but has been replaced by Danny Care, though coach Jones suggested the decision is tactical.

"We've got to be even better. And it's all about the mindset of the players," Jones told Sky Sports.

"Physically we're really good, but the players have got to attune themselves to how important the start is. We're aiming to get that right with our boys.

"We've had a really good week. We were pretty battered after the Brisbane Test, so we didn't train until Tuesday but we had a good session and an even better session on Wednesday.

"We've got a younger team again, but they're all up for the challenge, and some of our old players have come back, like the Vunipolas, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Jonny Hill are coming back to their best, so it's a good team we've got in place and we're looking forward to the challenge of winning the series.

"It's a tactical decision [Care for Van Poortvliet]. We feel that JVP will handle the latter part of the game really well, and that's where the game's going to be won and lost.

"And the first part of the game with the New Zealand referee Paul Williams is probably going to be a lot of quick ruck ball, and that's where Danny is at his absolute best.

"So we're just trying to maximise the strengths of each of those two players – JVP was magnificent last week."

England will be without Sam Underhill and Maro Itoje after the pair suffered concussions in the second Test, while Tom Curry has returned home after sustaining the same injury.

Ollie Chessum and Lewis Ludlam have been introduced to replace Underhill and Itoje, and Jones has little concern the pair will slot straight into the team.

"[Ludlam] has energy. He works really hard on and off the ball, and he's also a very good communicator on the field, so whilst we'll miss Sam and Tom Curry, we won't lose anything with Lewis," Jones added.

"Maro's been one of those guys that has been in nearly every Test team I've picked in the time I've been here.

"So we'll miss him but Chessum's a good young player, he's been training really well, he was part of the very successful Leicester Tigers team and he'll enjoy the opportunity."

Dan Biggar and Dillon Lewis have been passed fit to start Wales' series decider with South Africa in Cape Town on Saturday.

Wales skipper Biggar and tight-head prop Lewis left the field in last weekend's 13-12 victory in Bloemfontein with shoulder and arm injuries respectively.

However, both players were named in Wales' starting XV on Thursday, with head coach Wayne Pivac making just one enforced change.

With wing Alex Cuthbert having already been ruled out, Josh Adams – who scored Wales' late try last time out – comes into the side for the crunch clash.

It means the tourists will go with the same side that started the series opener two weeks ago, which ended in a dramatic 32-29 defeat in Pretoria.

George North will also start, seeing him overtake Stephen Jones as Wales' most-capped men's international back of all time with 105 appearances.

 

South Africa named their squad on Tuesday, with Jacques Nienaber making 11 changes to the hosts' line-up.

Eben Etzebeth will become the seventh Springboks player to win 100 Test caps, while Bongi Mbonambi reaches the half-century mark.

The Boks, gearing up for next month's Rugby Championship, are out to avoid successive home defeats for the first time since losing three in a row between July 2015 and June 2016.

 

South Africa: Willemse, Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, De Allende, Mapimpi, Pollard, Hendrikse; Nyakane, Mbonambi, Malherbe, Etzebeth, De Jager, Kolisi, Du Toit, Wiese.
Replacements: Marx, Kitshoff, Koch, Mostert, Smith, Louw, De Klerk, Le Roux.

Wales: L Williams; Rees-Zammit, North, Tompkins, Adams; Biggar (c), Hardy; G Thomas, Elias, D Lewis, Rowlands, Beard, Lydiate, Reffell, Faletau.
Replacements: Lake, W Jones, S Wainwright, Alun Wyn Jones, Navidi, T Williams, Anscombe, Watkin.

Leicester second-rower Ollie Chessum will make his first start and Danny Care returns to Eddie Jones' XV for England in the deciding third Test against Australia.

The tourists have made minimal changes to the side that delivered a major victory in Brisbane last Saturday, to force their three-game series to a decider against the Wallabies.

After overcoming the frustrations of an opening loss to their hosts in Perth despite a man advantage for most of the game, coach Jones rung the changes in a bid to stave off a second defeat in as many games.

That delivered a crucial 25-17 victory at Suncorp Stadium to take the series through to its final match, at Sydney Cricket Ground this weekend.

Chessum comes into the side as part of an enforced change, taking the spot of Maro Itoje, while Lewis Ludlum also steps up after Sam Underhill was ruled out with concussion.

Care meanwhile is the lone tactical change made by Jones to his backline, with the Harlequins scrum-half given the nod over Jack van Poortvliet, having been dropped for the latter in Queensland.

Australia meanwhile make four changes to the side that were downed in the Sunshine State, with two-time NRL premier and cross-code recruit Suliasi Vunivalu in line for a debut off the bench.

The ex-Melbourne Storm flyer switched codes to play for the Reds in 2021, and is the unfamiliar face among the newcomers, with Reece Hodge and Harry Wilson in for their first Tests of the year.

Nick Frost meanwhile gets a start in the second row and James Slipper moves back to the traditional spot of loosehead prop.

Australia team: Hodge, Wright, Paisami, Kerevi, Koroibete, Lolesio, White; Slipper, Porecki, Tupou, Frost, Philip, Wilson, Hooper, Valetini.

Replacements: Faingaa, Bell, Alaalatoa, Leota, Samu, McDermott, Ikitau, Vunivalu.

England team: Steward, Nowell, Porter, Farrell, Freeman, Smith, Care; Genge, George, Stuart, Chessum, Hill, Lawes, Ludlam, Vunipola.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Vunipola, Heyes, Isiekwe, Willis, Van Poortvliet, Joseph, Arundell.

Dan McKellar says Australia must avoid getting "sucked into" England's "niggle" when they do battle in the decisive Test at the SCG on Saturday.

The Red Rose levelled the three-match series with a 25-17 victory at Suncorp Stadium last weekend.

Eddie Jones' men came out firing as they stepped up the physicality in Brisbane to bring Australia back down to earth.

Assistant coach McKellar says the Wallabies must keep their discipline if England attempt to get under their skins again with the series on the line.

"It's pretty pointless these days isn’t it?" he said. "You go rushing in and [you're] third man in and you're on the receiving end of a yellow card.

"It all comes down to emotional control and making sure you're not getting sucked into those sort of tactics.

"The officials will be world-class on Saturday and it's their job to look after.

"It's not something we plan or put tactics to in this environment. We have much more important things to worry about that'll go a fair way towards deciding a Test match than a little niggle."

Australia are waiting to learn the extent of a knee injury suffered by Cadeyrn Neville, while they will have to do without Darcy Swain (suspension), Izack Rodda (foot), Jed Holloway (calf) and Ned Hanigan (knee).

McKellar says they must show their strength in depth.

"I think what makes it seamless is the preparation we've done over the past three-four weeks and understanding whoever's playing will be involved heavily in preparation over that period of time," he added.

"You can't be throwing your eggs in one basket thinking they'll get through a series. The game is played at an incredibly high intensity these days, very physical, and sadly we've seen a fair few injuries.

"We've been unlucky in that area and every now and again you get clusters in a position, you just have to make sure your whole squad is prepared and ready to step up if required."

Wales wing Alex Cuthbert has been ruled out of this weekend's series decider against South Africa with a shoulder injury.

The 32-year-old was forced off the field 17 minutes into the visitors' 13-12 victory in Bloemfontein on Saturday, which levelled the three-match series at 1-1.

Wales confirmed on Monday that Cuthbert will play no part in the third and final Test, with no replacement being called up.

Josh Adams, who replaced Cuthbert and scored Wales' late try, is now expected to start the crunch clash in Cape Town.

Captain Dan Biggar and prop Dillon Lewis suffered shoulder and arm injuries respectively in the second Test, but they have not yet been ruled out.

South Africa confirmed earlier on Monday that centre Andre Esterhuizen, who started for the much-changed hosts last time out, will play no part after breaking his hand.

South Africa centre Andre Esterhuizen has been ruled out of Saturday's series decider against Wales with a broken hand.

The 28-year-old sustained the injury during the Springboks' 13-12 loss in Bloemfontein over the weekend.

Boks assistant coach Deon Davids confirmed on Monday that Esterhuizen is facing around a month on the sidelines.

However, South Africa were always expected to revert back to the XV that started the first Test, which ended in a dramatic 32-29 victory.

That would see Lukhanyo Am and Damian De Allende recalled as the hosts' starting midfield combination for the Cape Town showdown.

Esterhuizen is now in a race against time to be fit for South Africa's opening Rugby Championship match against New Zealand on August 6.

England flanker Sam Underhill will not feature in the Test series decider against Australia due to concussion, joining Maro Itoje on Eddie Jones' list of absentees.

Jones confirmed Itoje would be unavailable for the winner-takes-all clash in Sydney on Saturday, after England levelled the series with a 25-17 victory in Brisbane last weekend.

England have won four of their past five games in Oceania, having done so just once in their previous 12 away matches against teams from that continent, but the most recent victory came at a cost.

While Jones had already acknowledged Itoje would miss the third Test, England remained hopeful Underhill may be fit to feature after the pair both suffered concussions in the same game.

However, England announced on Monday that the pair had been withdrawn from the squad and no replacements have been called up.

Flanker Tom Curry has already returned home after being concussed in the first Test, with Australia's Jordan Petaia and Allan Alaalatoa making up the five players ruled out of the series due to concussion.

Jones will likely call upon Billy Vunipola and Courtney Lawes again, with Ollie Chessum, Lewis Ludlam and Jack Willis the alternate options for the final spot in the back row.

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