‘Spoilt’ Jones can’t afford World Cup failure
STEVE Larkham has turned up the pressure on former coach Eddie Jones by branding him so "spoilt" for team resources that anything less than a 2019 World Cup triumph will be viewed as a failure with England.
No one in the Wallabies camp preparing for Sunday's blockbuster at Twickenham knows the England boss better than Larkham, who played 43 of his Tests under Jones when he was Australian coach and won a Super Rugby title with him at the Brumbies.
It made Larkham's subtle jab, as Wallabies backs coach, all the more meaningful.
Picking up a basket-case England team from the doldrums after the early exit from the 2015 World Cup was the easy part compared to the two-year run Jones faces to the World Cup where "England Expects" is now the banner over Saturday and every Test.
He has 4-0 bragging rights over the Michael Cheika-Larkham coaching team at the heart of a remarkable record of 20 wins from 21 Tests since taking charge.
"Bring it on" is always the Jones' tone because he declared this week: "I was employed to win the World Cup and that's what I'm intending to do."
"When you've got pretty much unlimited resources around you and you've had the record that you've had, that's the expectation. That's where the pressure comes from," Larkham said.
"He's probably a little bit spoilt from where he's come from (with the Australian and Japanese Test teams)."
Karmichael Hunt will stay in his supersub role for the Wallabies with coach Michael Cheika certain he needs all the bullocking ball-running power he can muster to end England's 11-Test streak of home wins at Twickenham.
Sticking with Samu Kerevi as his starting inside centre on Saturday is a significant call from Cheika in his plan to storm the fortress of England rugby.
The Wallabies are seven-point underdogs and Cheika knows he needs the 104kg Kerevi to inject as much go-forward drive into the game as possible because waves of English ball-runners from the pack will certainly be doing the same.
Jones and his England team have multi-million dollar backing, starting with an off-field staff of more than 20, a regular base at a $450-a-night five-star resort, a pre-season camp in Portugal and even Jonny Wilkinson to sometimes mind the coach's dog when he's away.
When Jones wants a consultant, he just whistles which is how former NRL stalwart Jason Ryles got on board to sharpen the England defence to blot out Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley and co.
Larkham wasn't crying poor with the Wallabies much leaner operation but he did stress Jones should be doing well because "anything he wants, he pretty much gets."
"Their facilities are pretty phenomenal and then there's the amount of staff, consultants coming in, squad sizes and players to choose from," Larkham said.
"I mean, not that we don't get that. I think Rugby Australia try to give us everything they can but there's not an unlimited bucket of money."
Wallabies (likely team): Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, Tevita Kuridrani, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koribete, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Sean McMahon, Michael Hooper (c), Ned Hanigan, Adam Coleman, Rob Simmons, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Scott Sio. Reserves: Stephen Moore, Tom Robertson, Allan Alaalatoa, Matt Philip, Ben McCalman, Nick Phipps, Henry Speight, Karmichael Hunt