Australia vs England : The teamsheets had barely hit the press before the Australia and England started to play mind games ahead of their 2019 Rugby quaterfinal on Saturday. But if you’re imaging some unsavoury sledging between the sides – you’re wrong.
Australian playmaker Matt To’omua has sledged England’s players for their poor snooker skills and a reluctance to buy a round of drinks.
To’omua spent three years with the Leicester Tigers between 2016–2019 and on Thursday gleefully revealed a few trade secrets about several of the players the Wallabies will lock horns with in Oita on Saturday.
“I’ve been very fortunate to play with a lot of them there,” said the veteran fly-half
“I know all of their weaknesses luckily — I can list them now for you if you want,” added To’omua with a smile, before going on to savage former Tigers team mates Manu Tuilagi, George Ford, Ben Youngs, Jonny May and Dan Cole.
“Manu is a terrible snooker player, George Ford never pays for a beer, Ben Youngs isn’t even the best rugby player in his family.
“The chicken, Jonny May — very weird … and Dan Cole doesn’t have a personality, so I’ve just been telling everyone about that.”
Old foes across all sports, the two sides are the first to play their quarterfinal on the weekend.
oach Michael Cheika on Thursday named teen sensation Jordan Petaia in his starting side to face England in this weekend’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final in a bold gamble.
Cheika’s surprise decision to field the explosive 19-year-old at centre is one of five changes for Saturday’s clash in Oita with wing Reece Hodge back from a three-game ban and centre James O’Connor dropping to the bench.
Allan Ala’alatoa, Michael Hooper, Will Genia, Christian Lealiifano also return to the starting line-up after Australia beat Georgia 27-8 in their final pool game.
Petaia has played just two Tests, both on the wing, but Wallabies selectors have backed him to make an impact at outside centre, where he has played for Super Rugby side Queensland Reds.
Meanwhile, England coach Eddie Jones insisted fly-half George Ford has a “significant role to play” on Thursday after he dropped him to the bench for Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final against Australia.