The Rugby Club look at how England will exploit Australia's front row weakness

Last Updated: 16/11/12 3:25pm

England's front row 'will relish the Wallaby challenge'

Dean Ryan, Michael Lynagh and Will Greenwood discuss the edge England will have over Australia in the scrum.

England's front row of Dan Cole, Tom Youngs and Joe Marler will be licking their lips in anticipation after watching their Wallaby counterparts totally out-muscled by France last weekend. England's dominance over their fierce rivals come scrum time is well documented; however Dean Ryan says that England cannot rely on that alone.

"It is a huge advantage, you cannot hide that fact," said Ryan on the Rugby Club.

"Dan Cole is turning into one of the world's top performers at tight-head and the Australians are scrambling around trying to find an answer and I think they have lost confidence in their scrum.

"It is not a new thing though, for the last ten years they have been struggling to create the scrum as an attacking platform. They did have the likes of George Gregan and Will Genia who understood that if you push this way then we are going that way so even though their scrum was not the best, you were never quite sure of what was coming next.

"England have to understand that they have an advantage and must make sure that it plays a factor in the game but also must be really careful not to over play that hand."

Dean Ryan

"We have also seen that when England have had an over confidence with their scrum. In 2010 England dominated the scrum and got two penalty tries and thought that was the way to victory and did not run anything off that dominance.

"England have to understand that they have an advantage and must make sure that it plays a factor in the game but also must be really careful not to over play that hand."

Despite being taught a scrumming lesson by France, Wallaby hooker Tatafu Polota believes that his side can turn the table against England and dominate the England pack. Lynagh may not quite agree with that, but he does say that there were some reasons behind Australia's poor showing against France.

"I think Australia know that England will try and attack them at scrum and they should look to strengthen it," said the World Cup-winning Wallaby.

"I thought they had amended their scrum over the last few years where it become quite sufficient to get the ball to the backs. However what we saw last week against France was harking back to the bad old days.

"There are a couple of excuses - it was the first time they have played under the new calls so their timing may have been a bit out. I would hope they would have learnt from that and try and fix it this week.

"If Australia can blunt that England expectation of having a huge advantage at the scrum, then I can see that as a great advantage to Australia."

One dimensional

Greenwood believes that the fact that Australia's attacking prowess has been blunted takes the pressure off England's back row and lets them concentrate on the scrum.

"In the old days the Australian's were just so inventive behind the scrum and could pull off such incredible moves, they had such flow and so much fluency that the back rows were thinking that they needed to get out of this scrum quickly to help defend.

"Now Australia have become a little bit one dimensional behind the scrum which means the England pack goes 'our backs can look after them, we are going after them here.' That is why Australia have to change their game and I think the return of Berrick Barnes is so crucial."