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International Rugby: Australia v England 2nd Test preview

The Wallabies snapped a seven-year losing streak against England when picking up a heroic 30-28 win in Perth on Saturday and now they are out to wrap up the series in Brisbane.

After a disappointing end to the 2021 campaign, the Wallabies have given the supporters hope for the future following the win at Optus Stadium, but now it is important they back it up in Queensland on Saturday.

The manner of the victory was impressive. Yes they allowed England back into the game at the death but you have to remember they played with 14 men for most of the match.

Dave Rennie’s men showed plenty of determination and spirit, but there was a fair bit of quality thrown in there as well.

One issue for the Wallabies ahead of the second Test is the fact that expectations have now risen, and they will have to cope with any added pressure that may bring.

There will also be a response from England. They will be hurting and determined to bounce back. Eddie Jones’ side will also have some momentum with the way they finished the game and are sure to come out firing at Suncorp Stadium.

It is sure to be a great battle so let’s take a closer look at the second Test.

What: Australia v England 2nd Test
Where: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
When: 19:55 (AEST), Saturday 9th July 2022
Odds: Australia 8/13, England 13/10

Australia will check on the fitness of Quade Cooper ahead of the second Test. The Wallabies were dealt a huge blow just before kick-off when Cooper felt a twinge in his calf.

Rather than take any risks, Cooper was left out of the side and watched on from the sidelines. The injury is nothing serious and it is hoped Cooper will be fit enough to take his place in the Wallabies side this weekend.

Speaking in Perth he sounded optimistic and it goes without saying his inclusion will be huge for Australia. Rennie says they will keep an eye the situation.

Australia will however be without Tom Banks for some time after he suffered a broken arm in the first Test. The player has undergone surgery on the injury and he will be on the sidelines for the foreseeable future.

The Wallabies can at least take heart from the fact that they have unearthed a new star at fullback. Andrew Kellaway switched from the wing to fullback when Banks went off at Optus Stadium and he did not put a foot wrong.

He now looks sure to be the new Wallabies No.15 moving forward.

Australia have also announced that Reece Hodge has been added to the squad for the Brisbane Test. Many eyebrows were raised when Hodge was left out of the squad for the first game.

He was instead named as vice-captain in the Australia A squad for the Pacific Nations Cup. But the Wallabies have confirmed Hodge has made the trip from Fiji to link up with the rest of the squad in Brisbane.

Rennie is also waiting to see if Darcy Swain will be available for the second Test after he was sent off in Perth.

Swain saw red following a headbutt on England’s Jonny Hill and will learn his fate when he faces the judiciary on Tuesday night.

If Swain is suspended then Matt Philip is almost certain to take his place in the side at Suncorp Stadium. However Nick Frost and Ned Haniga could also be options for Rennie.

In other team news, it is hoped Taniela Tupou could be available again after a calf injury ruled him out of the first Test. The Wallabies will also wait on Allan Alaalatoa following a concussion.

England are expected to come out firing to level the series and take it to a decider in Sydney. They were hit by a number of injuries to key players before the tour and have suffered their first while in Australia.

Jones has been hit by the news that Tom Curry will play no further part in the series down under after suffering concussion.

The Sale Sharks flanker played in the first match but had to be replaced by Lewis Ludlam at half-time. Curry had travelled to Brisbane but the decision has since been made to put him on a flight back to England.

The decision has been taken in the “best interest of player welfare” and England have revealed they will announce a replacement in due course.

Hill will be free to play after avoiding a citing for his involvement in the sending off of Swain.

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