Last Updated: 14/11/17 4:08pm
George Ford is expecting a much-improved Australia compared to the team England beat four times in 2016
George Ford says Australia’s “lethal” backs will punish England if they continue to cough up possession on Saturday.
Fly-half Ford was frustrated with England’s performance in their autumn series opener against Argentina, who slowed the hosts’ ball down and unsettled their new combinations.
The 24-year-old has warned his team they cannot afford a repeat showing against an Australian side who are on a seven-game unbeaten run.
England vs Australia
November 18, 2017, 2:00pm
“They’re lethal in the backs,” said the Leicester No 10. “They’ve got some really strong runners on the edges, and at nine and 10, (Will) Genia and (Bernard) Foley really make them tick.
“They’ve some big carriers up front now who are physical and confrontational. We’ll be aware and have a good understanding of that, but also focus on ourselves and make sure we get better at what we do.”
England have won their last four Tests against the Wallabies but Ford has been impressed by their performances in 2017.
“They’re a lot more confrontational in attack, trying to get over the gainline first before going to the edges,” he said.
“Then they’ve got the right people to get the ball into space. That’s where they’re pretty dangerous in attack.
Highlights of England’s 21-8 victory over Argentina
“Defensively they try to get off the line more and make some big hits. That’ll be a good challenge for us in attack, to try and execute and put some pressure on them.
“They’re just playing with a lot more intensity and that’s one thing you’ve got to have at Test match level.”
Australia are unbeaten in seven Tests and were impressive 23-18 winners over New Zealand last month
Ford says England must up the tempo when in possession if they are to maintain their 100 per record at Twickenham under Eddie Jones.
“From an attack point of view we need to be connected with each other a lot more, to get our timings and alignment right, hold onto the ball a bit more and build some pressure,” he said.
“We gave the ball away far too easily against Argentina and when you do that it’s hard to get it back.
England vs Samoa
November 25, 2017, 2:30pm
“Argentina did a good job of slowing the game down there so that’s probably why it was a bit stop-start. We felt a bit frustrated out there.
“We need to speed the ball up at the ruck so we can play and challenge teams a bit more.”