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Latest odds and what Eddie Jones has learned after victory in Australia

England recovered from a first Test defeat to clinch only their second-ever series win in Australia with a 21-17 victory in Sydney.

Owen Farrell’s right boot was key to England’s series-levelling victory in Brisbane, while tries from Freddie Steward and Marcus Smith either side of the restart punctuated spells of Australian dominance in the winner-takes-all third Test at the SCG.

Eddie Jones was under mounting pressure prior to the tour but his selection gambles just about paid off in Australia and may provide some impetus to his squad ahead of next year’s World Cup in France.

Here are five key talking points from England’s series win:

The sky’s the limit for Steward

We knew Freddie Steward was good, even at 21, but this was a ridiculous three weeks for the Leicester full-back. Along with Captain Courtney Lawes, he was England’s best player and the sky is the limit.

He rules the skies anyway, with his command of the high ball, and his attacking game has come on since his Test debut last summer. If England find a better full-back in the next five years we have not heard of him yet. Tommy Freeman, Ollie Chessum and Jack van Poortvliet are on the podium.

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Danny Care was hooked after 37 minutes on Saturday and those with memories of Luther Burrell, who never played for England again, and Teimana Harrison, who lasted until that autumn, will fear for the veteran. Nearly four years out, a fluffed box kick and a missed tackle and he was out on his ear from him. Possibly for ever.

And Joe Cokanasiga will be kicking himself. Eddie Jones loves a big winger – think Wendell Sailor and Lote Tuqiri when he was the Wallaby boss – and Cokanasiga is big. But on his one appearance of him, in Perth’s first Test, the Bath man failed to get involved and went on the missing list. Likewise, Joe Marchant of Harlequins missed an opportunity and Harry Randall did not get one.

What does it mean for the World Cup?

When the world rankings come out on Monday, Ireland will be the number one team on the planet following their seismic 32-22 win over the All Blacks in Wellington. That makes them only the fifth side to win a proper series in New Zealand, a list that includes the fabled British & Irish Lions and the 1937 Springboks.

World Cup 2023 odds

  • France-5-2
  • New Zealand-11-4
  • England 5-1
  • Ireland-5-1
  • South Africa – 6-1
  • Australia – 10-1
  • Wales – 22-1
  • Argentina – 50-1
  • Scotland – 50-1

Odds via Betfair on 17 July

England’s finale in Sydney was a mid-table affair compared to what was going on slightly further down under. Would you bet the house on England beating Ireland, France, South Africa or New Zealand if the World Cup final was played tomorrow? Thought not.

Genge proves apprentice scheme works

Back in 2016, Eddie Jones brought Ellis Genge down under with the much-derived apprentice asterisk next to his name.

Genge, now 27 and a Premiership-winning captain with Leicester, did not play a minute of the Test matches as England won 3-0 but went back home knowing what international rugby is all about. Six years on prop Genge was one of the leaders of the pack, bristling with intent on the pitch, especially in Brisbane’s second Test and in the latter stages of his 56 minutes in the Sydney decider. He was also a thoughtful talker off it.

Ellis Genge’s leadership qualities were key (Photo: Getty)

Henry Arundell, with three bench appearances, and Will Joseph, with one, were handed the dreaded L-plate tag ahead of this tour but both saw action and will have been inspired by Genge’s actions.

When he ran through Wallaby center Samu Kerevi on Saturday it marked a line in the sand in England’s defiant last stand to hold out the hosts.

What next for those left behind?

When the squad to tour Australia was announced on 20 June, Nic Dolly, Alex Dombrandt, George Ford, Joe Launchbury, Louis Lynagh, Sam Simmonds, Kyle Sinckler, Henry Slade, Manu Tuilagi and Anthony Watson were listed as unavailable through injury. Ben Youngs and Joe Marler were also rested.

All barring Sinckler, the lesser-spotted Manu and Slade have catching up to do. Watson had to watch Freeman star on the wing in the final Test, Dombrandt would have been chuntering at every Billy Vunipola carry, likewise fellow No 8 Simmonds, and Launchbury might not be too chuffed with the progress of Jonny Hill and Ollie Chessum at lock.

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Fly-half Ford could struggle to get back, despite his form last season for Leicester. Tuilagi, if fit, plays whatever and Slade’s midfield cause was helped by Guy Porter not pulling too many trees up in Australia.

Captain Courtney

Courtney Lawes will be England’s captain for the World Cup in France next year, barring an injury calamity or a similarly steep drop in form. The latter looks increasingly unlikely, given the way he has played over the past three weekends and he has changed the mood of the team so that even Owen Farrell was smiling – despite his relegation of him back to the ranks.

Lawes revealed last week how Jones had mellowed with the players but they owed him performances in return. The Northampton man did his bit in Sydney rallying the last-ditch defence, securing a turnover, assisting in another, winning a line-out and chopping down Kerevi in ​​the space of 10 minutes. This was his tour of him.

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