This series is in no way decisive for Wallabies manager Dave Rennie, but if Australia are to become a serious contender for the World Cup next year, they simply have to end their Test losing streak to England and claim the series win.

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It has been over 2,400 days since Australia’s last victory over England. That night at Twickenham, the Wallabies put on a near-perfect performance, officially ending England’s home World Cup campaign.

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This was the catalyst for the firing of Stuart Lancaster and the hiring of Eddie Jones – and the Wallabies have been chasing their tails against the Old Enemy ever since.

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A clean win in the 2016 Down Under series, four straight wins at Twickenham and a crushing 40-17 defeat in the quarter-finals of the 2019 World Cup – revenge for a loss four years earlier – have given England a sense of invincibility when they see the gold jerseys lined up against them.

But when Jones arrived in Australia in 2016, he was on the wave of the Six Nations Grand Slam and received huge support for both his coaching prowess and his quirky psychological tactics from the traveling press.

Six years later, this is not the case. English rugby supporters and the country’s media grew tired of Jones’ approach, his almost flippant attitude towards the Six Nations and his place in the vein of English rugby, and the belief that World Cup glory was all that mattered.

Some of England’s leading journalists even called for Jones to be sacked before the Rugby Union conducted its own investigation and bolstered support for the Australian.

But the walls are closing in.

In the meantime, Rennie enjoyed the serene first two years of his reign, realizing that it would take time to instill his Wallaby style of rugby, as well as for younger players to first be introduced to the Test arena and then allowed time to find their calling. support.

The Wallabies were patchy in 2020, but managed to take down the All Blacks and finished the year 1-2-3. Then in 2021, the Wallabies defeated France 2-1, with back-to-back victories over world champion Springboks on their way to second place in the Rugby Championship, results that however were overshadowed by the whitening of Bledislow by the All Blacks and then later three more losses to complete the spring tour.

Despite Rennie’s 8-9-3 record as Wallabies coach to date, there is consensus that he led the team forward and led their generation to the next.

But whatever honeymoon he was given, it ended.

“How important is it to get the result in this series?” Last week, Rennie was asked a question that wasn’t as stupid as it sounded.

“Winning the series is critical, we’ve been together for a couple of years now and we believe we have more and we want to get better, but within that you have to find ways to win,” Rennie replied. .

“And we are well aware of the quality of the opposition and we are well aware of the importance of us coming forward and performing well.

“So we’re excited, this is going to be a hell of a series.”

The 2016 series proved to be the beginning of the end for Cheika, despite the fact that the coach made it to the World Championship. The inscription, however, had long since been on the wall before an embarrassing defeat in Japan brought the curtain down on his Wallabies tenure.

Rennie’s job is safe until the World Cup as he has proven that when the Wallabies do it right, they have the ability to beat the Springboks, France and even the All Blacks.

But a large white cloud in the shape of England continues to hang over Australia’s upward trajectory.

Win the series and it could not only be a springboard for the Rugby Championship, but for the spring tour as well, when they face World Cup hosts France in full force.

Ending that long streak of strikeouts against England would also wipe Jones’ wry smile from his face throughout the 2016 tour.

Unfortunately for the Wallabies, when it comes to matches against Australia, Jones hasn’t stopped smiling ever since.

But Rennie has the team to change that, and if the Wallabies are serious about fighting for the Webb Ellis Trophy next year, winning the series should be an expectation, not just a goal.