Only a guy like Eddie Jones could have an eight game winning streak against the Wallabies and still be faced with questions about his future as an England rugby manager.
But ahead of the first test against Australia in Perth tonight (7.55pm AEST), the Aussie says he enjoys the pressure and even thrives on it.
England arrived in Western Australia last week after defeats to Ireland, France and most recently a surprise 52-21 loss to the Barbarians.
The often short-tempered Jones will be hoping to lead England to their ninth straight victory over the Wallabies in the opener of a series that includes games in Brisbane and Sydney over the next two Saturdays.
While admitting he was under pressure ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, Jones said he was not alone.
He said New Zealand manager Ian Foster would feel the same way after a dip in All Blacks results at the end of last year.
“I think every international coach is under pressure,” Jones said.
“I’m under pressure because we haven’t had good enough results, that’s obvious. Our expectations are high, the media’s expectations are high, everybody’s expectations are high and that’s okay.
“Dave (Wallabies coach Dave Rennie) is under pressure, on the other side of the divide they are under pressure…it’s part of the job that we love and appreciate and accept responsibility for that pressure.”
Rennie named second rower Cadeyrn Neville to the starting squad for the opening match, making Neville the oldest Wallabies player in over 20 years to make his Test debut.
Neville, 33, was named the confirmed starter on Thursday – 10 years after being called up to the team without earning a cap.
In 2012, Neville was in his first year playing for the Melbourne Rebels – his first of three Australian Super Rugby teams – when he was drafted into the Wallabies squad to travel to Argentina and then later for a British tour.
But he never qualified for the 23rd day.
Rennie also named David Porecki to make his Test debut.
Porecki spent five years in English rugby with Saracens and London Irish before returning to Australia in 2020 and playing in the front tier for the Waratahs.
Michael Hooper will captain the Wallabies for the 66th time.
The Wallabies arrived in Perth late Thursday evening from their base on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane.
Jones went with flanker Courtney Lawes as England captain despite the return of Owen Farrell.
Appointed at inside centre, Farrell was tipped to return from injury as skipper, but Jones remained with Lawes, who led the side through the Six Nations.
It’s the first time since 2018 that Farrell has been overlooked as captain.
Jones said he doesn’t care much about the winning streak and admits he expects the Wallabies to play a style of play he has grown accustomed to.
“Australian rugby is traditionally attacking, they like to move the ball around, there’s a lot of lateral movement of the ball,” Jones said.
“We were able to counter that and then find ways to score points against them.
“I’m sure Australia won’t encourage too many lineouts in the game. Their general pattern against us is that they don’t pull out, they kick in.”
“I’d be surprised if they didn’t throw the kitchen sink at us,” said the England captain.
“So we are very ready for all scenarios.”
Australia: Tom Banks, Andrew Kellaway, Len Ikitau, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Quade Cooper, Nic White, Rob Valetini, Michael Hooper (c), Rob Leota, Cadeyrn Neville, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa, David Porecki, Angus Bell
Reservations: Folau Fainga’a, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Matt Philip, Pete Samu, Jake Gordon, Noah Lolesio, Jordan Petaia
England: Freddie Steward, Jack Nowell, Joe Marchant, Owen Farrell, Joe Cokanasiga, Marcus Smith, Danny Care, Billy Vunipola, Tom Curry, Courtney Lawes (c), Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Will Stuart, Jamie George, Ellis Genge
Reservations: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Joe Heyes, Ollie Chessum, Lewis Ludlam, Jack van Poortlviet, Guy Porter, Henry Arundell