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England v Australia: Jones ‘taking heat off England scrum’ says Cheika

A scrum collapses during England's 3-0 away victory over the Wallabies in June

The legality of both sides’ scrums has been a hot topic in the build-up to Saturday’s game

Australia coach Michael Cheika says Eddie Jones’ digs at the Wallaby scrum are designed to deflect attention away from England’s frailties in that area.

Jones has accused Australia of “illegalities” in the set-piece, and said at a function last night that Australia “can’t scrummage”.

“He’s done that to take the heat off his own scrum,” Cheika said.

“It’s the oldest trick in the book. At the end of the day what goes on on the field is what’s going to count.”

Australia, who lost 3-0 at home to England during the northern hemisphere summer, head to Twickenham on Saturday having made four changes to the starting XV that lost to Ireland last weekend.

During the June series down under some Australian observers criticised England’s scrum, and Jones has replied in kind before Saturday’s match.

Jones will also meet with referee Jaco Peyper before the game, but Cheika says he is undecided whether he will do the same.

“We’ll decide [later] whether we will go or not,” Cheika said.

“I think we’re probably better off letting them have their own meeting and see if they can influence the referee.

“I don’t think there’s anything I can do to influence the referee, I think I’m better off staying quiet.”

England are on the verge of equalling a record run of 14 straight wins, but stopping them making history is not a source of motivation for Australia, according to Cheika.

“We are not into rugby to try and spoil someone else’s party. We are trying to have our own,” Cheika continued.

“I think they have played fantastic this year, they have smashed it.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/38173794