England braced for hostile Test rugby series as they land in Australia

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England braced for hostile Test series as they land in Australia

Brisbane (Australia) (AFP) - Coach Eddie Jones said he expects a hostile reception in Australia after the England squad arrived on Thursday ahead of what is anticipated to be a physical and aggressive three-Test series.

Jones and his squad touched down in Brisbane early on Thursday, with the former Australia coach getting a brusque welcome when he was whisked away for a bag check at customs.

"I just went through immigration and I got shunted through the area where everything got checked, so that's what I'm expecting mate," he said, when asked how his team would be received by Australian fans.

"The one thing I understand is that the Australians are going to be very physical and very aggressive and that everything that is done in the game is going to be coordinated and all coordinated to help Australia to win."

The Test series, starting on June 11, has extra spice because former Australia coach Jones and Wallabies counterpart Michael Cheika have known each other for years, having played together at leading Sydney club Randwick.

England have yet to lose under Jones -- their first overseas coach -- after he guided them to a first Six Nations Grand Slam in 13 years earlier this season, while Cheika is the World Rugby coach of the year after leading the Wallabies to last year's World Cup final.

The last time the two teams met, England were beaten on home turf in the 2015 World Cup, and Jones knows the odds are heavily stacked against his side, which has an average age of just 24 and has never won in Brisbane.

"Our record in Australia is three Tests since Captain Cook arrived, so it's not a great record is it," he said, referring to England's dismal win ratio of three games out of 17.

"Australia is second in the world (rankings), they have the best coach in the world, they're playing in their own backyard so they're going to be strong favourite on the tour."

But Jones, who replaced Stuart Lancaster after the Wallabies dumped England out of the World Cup, said his team was up for the battle and winning in Brisbane would set the tone for the tour.

"We're going to be good enough to control what we can control and not worry about what we can't control and be prepared to play very physical and aggressive rugby," he said.

"The first Test sets the tone for the rest of the series and we see that as an opportunity to put down a marker in that first Test.

"Suncorp (Stadium in Brisbane) has been a favoured ground for Australia, but there has been a few lost games there so that provides us with an opportunity for us. We're looking forward to it."

The second Test is in Melbourne on June 18 with the third a week later in Sydney.