England captain Courtney Lawes said Australia’s pre-match “smack” talk gave them the motivation they needed to beat the Wallabies 21-17 in Sydney on Saturday and clinch the three-test series.
England lost the opener in Perth two weeks ago but recorded back-to-back wins in Brisbane and Sydney to secure a second consecutive three-test series victory in Australia.
“They were talking smack about us,” Lawes said. “We saw plenty of stuff in the press from their players and what they were saying – some people targeting (Ellis Genge) and some people calling us Poms and what-not.
“It’s all good fuel for our tank and any good team uses that as motivation, I think.
“That motivated us a bit but the boys stuck together, stuck to our guns. We didn’t fire that many shots tonight but we found a way to win. That’s the big improvement.”
The series win was England’s second over the Wallabies in Australia since Eddie Jones took over, the ex-Japan coach securing a 3-0 victory during his first tour in charge in 2016.
He played down the impact of the Wallabies’ comments.
“We don’t talk about those things, honestly,” he said. “We’re just worried about ourselves.
“Maybe with the senior players we spoke about it. We’re a young team and we just want to look after ourselves.”
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie also downplayed the comments.
“I wouldn’t say they’re smack if you read the comments made,” he said. “It’s a bit of by-play post the result I reckon.”