Rugby Union

Eddie Jones expects to be prime target on England's Australia tour

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Football News

Eddie Jones is eagerly awaiting Australian efforts to unsettle England through a media-led campaign of mind games and knows he will be the number one target.

The Grand Slam champions landed in Brisbane on Thursday before relocating to their training camp on the Gold Coast, where they will begin preparations for the first of three Tests against the Wallabies.

Jones was on the home side of attempts to destabilise England when serving as head coach of hosts Australia during the 2003 World Cup.

Among the many tricks used against Martin Johnson's men was a newspaper printing a voodoo doll in the image of Jonny Wilkinson, which readers were asked to cut out and jab with needles.

It had little impact as England toppled the Wallabies in the Sydney final, but Australian Jones knows that he will now be on the receiving end.

"The media will be up to their tricks, it will be all on! There'll be co-ordinated targets so we'll deal with it how we can," the Red Rose head coach said.

"I don't know about voodoo dolls but all those things are going to happen. It's going to be a bit of fun and it will mean the Australians are taking England seriously.

"I'm sure they will try to wind me up. They've got a show over there that has 'Eddie Watch' every week, so it's already started.

"They've not come up with anything yet because I've been very well behaved so far. Hopefully I'll keep well behaved.

"Australia will treat the series seriously and that's what we want them to do. They know that we're coming and they know that we're improving."

Across Tests in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, Jones will be locking horns with his former Randwick team-mate Michael Cheika, a coach who inherited an under-performing Australia team and steered them into last autumn's World Cup final.

"Cheika has turned around that side from being a joke as they were 18 months ago, dropping Tests left, right and centre and having more headlines on the front pages than back," Jones said.

"He's put together a hard-working, aggressive and physically competent team and that's how you win rugby games.

"That first Test is massive for us. Massive. We've got to win that Test and that is what we are preparing for. The players are already thinking about it."

Players from double winners Saracens will not begin training until Monday to give them a breather after prevailing in successive finals against Racing 92 and Exeter.

The first match in the Test series takes place in Brisbane on June 11.

"Seeing some of those Sarries boys and hearing some of the comments afterwards, they've played every game, big games, and we will have to recover them well," Jones said.

"I've just got to work out how the guys that were in the final have come back psychologically and physically because they did look a bit tired.

"They'll have a good recovery and what a great place to have recovery - the Gold Coast. I couldn't think of anything better."

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