Harry Randall has urged England to deliver another series whitewash of Australia during next month’s tour. Eddie Jones has overseen eight successive victories over the Wallabies since becoming head coach at the end of 2015, a sequence that includes a clean sweep of victories across three Tests the following summer.
Randall is battling with Ben Youngs for the role of starting scrum-half when the series begins in Perth on July 2 and the Bristol half-back views the tour as a chance for England to extend their mastery of an old rivalry.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to go out there and hopefully beat them 3-0 again like the boys did in 2016. It’s a massive challenge,” Randall said. “We have had a few chats around 2016, what it’s like to go to Australia and about some of the boys’ experiences out there. The 2016 tour was very successful.
“Some of those boys relayed back what it took to be successful out there and what it will take again. It’s good to have some of that experience in and around the squad. Australia are a new squad on the rise. What better way to challenge ourselves than against an up-and-coming Australia team? We’ll really look forward to that and embrace it.”
England will warm-up for the tour by facing the Barbarians in a non-cap international at Twickenham on Sunday week, their first outing since a disappointing Six Nations when they collapsed to three defeats.
Jones retains the backing of the Rugby Football Union as the countdown to the 2023 World Cup continues but while recent results represent a step backwards, Randall insists team spirit has grown stronger. “We felt as a squad during the Six Nations that we built something that is a foundation for us going forward,” said Randall, an England replacement in their most recent match, the Six Nations loss to France.
“We believe it will stand us in good stead. Some of the results weren’t perfect but we feel like we have got a really good foundation and we know what we have to do to keep building on that.”
Randall has been involved in a three-day training camp taking place in southwest London and on Wednesday morning the squad performed their latest Misogi – an ancient Japanese purification ritual. Jones first introduced the practice last autumn with the aim of strengthening the team’s bonds.
“We were in and out of the Thames just out the back of the hotel, which was enjoyable to an extent. We had kayaks and canoes and a few challenges around that,” Randall said. “There were four teams, we kayaked up the river and then went in and out of the water. It was going very well until the last 100 meters when our canoe and kayaks just filled with water and sank, just like that.
“We had to get to the side to get out and empty out all the water and then rebuild and unfortunately we came last. It’s a way to bring each other together, work as a team and problem solve. It’s also a mental challenge, how can you best stay mentally in the zone for as long as possible, under a lot of stress and fatigue. It challenges us in different ways.”
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