Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Wynne Gray: England's potential could spell trouble for Australia

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England's Anthony Watson, left, tries to get past Wales' Alex Cuthbert during the Six Nations international rugby match between England and Wales. Photo /AP.
England's Anthony Watson, left, tries to get past Wales' Alex Cuthbert during the Six Nations international rugby match between England and Wales. Photo /AP.

Wallaby coach Michael Cheika was in the stands at Twickenham watching how one of his predecessors and former Randwick teammate Eddie Jones was making England hum.

They were in tune for an hour against Wales, enough time to anchor a victory, before they lost their shape and harmony.

However that opening onslaught was enough to show Cheika how difficult June will be for the Wallabies when they host England across a three test series. Jones has teased open some petals on the Red Rose and the aroma is starting to intoxicate the squad and their fans.

They are well short of a prize-winning bloom and would wither against an All Black side of the last World Cup vintage. But they are beginning to unfurl a broader scope of skills and plans.

It was that potential which Eddie Jones found unable to resist when he was headhunted after a few weeks in a new job with the Stormers.

His impact and England's rise should have everyone watching on the way to the 2019 World Cup.

At the same time England head south, the All Blacks meet Wales who were beaten 25-21 at Twickenham but gave us a peek of what they can do.

George North and Liam Williams are classy players and so potent if Wales work their ambition more adroitly to the wider parts of test grounds. To do that they have to be more secure at setpiece than they were at Twickenham.

Captain Sam Warburton leads a potent loose-forward group for Wales but they lose out when their tight five is shouldered out of the game as they were at Twickenham.

Alun Wyn-Jones is a powerful lock and a young front row is growing into their work but that takes time-and that was a commodity England now, and the All Blacks will rarely offer.

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Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

The latest commentary and analysis from senior rugby writer Wynne Gray. Wynne has been covering the All Blacks for more than 27 years and has attended more than 230 All Blacks tests live for the Herald.

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