England vs Wallabies Live : Now that game falls in the quarter-finals of a World Cup, with his reputation as England coach likely to be defined by what happens in the Oita Stadium on Saturday and what may follow, all that has been ramped up further still.
There is the coaching rivalry: Jones, the former Randwick hooker, up against Michael Cheika, former Randwick number eight. There is what a win would mean: a World Cup semi-final, maybe more. There is what defeat might bring: the end of a regime, a censorious reappraisal of all it was built on.
Jones’ starting XV is everything he has always wanted England to be: big, strong, packed with powerful ball-carriers, based around a rock-solid set-piece.
Ford, arguably England’s best player in their three group-stage wins, is gone, sent to the bench as Owen Farrell is shifted from inside centre to 10. Everywhere you look is muscle, energy and snarl.
For the Wallabies, they will be clinging on to that possibility and hoping the first four games aren’t the script of how their quarter-final performance against England will run.
Underwhelming performances against Uruguay and Georgia, and slow starts against Fiji and Wales left the Australian outfit second in their pool, and not riding the wave of good form that Michael Cheika and his staff may have hoped for or envisaged running into this World Cup.
Too often it has been basic handling errors and sub-par work at the breakdown that has let opposition sides stay in the contest, even when on paper they were far inferior.
That leads us in to team news for this clash. For the Wallabies, the biggest call of the lot is undoubtedly the selection of young gun and two-Test wonder Jordan Petaia at outside centre.
Australia used to prefer contrasting methods. Four years ago their march to the World Cup final was based on the guile and quick-thinking of Bernard Foley and Matt Giteau. This time Cheika has followed the Jones way: a scrum and line-out that is a weapon rather than weakness, 17 stone of Samu Kerevi at centre, 6ft 3ins of Jordan Petaia next to him.
“As a player ‘Cheik’ absolutely did all his talking out on the field,” says Mortlock. “He was incredibly combative, almost a thug on the pitch.
“One of my first games was against Randwick, him and his brothers. And you didn’t really want to go near the Cheika brothers.