James Horwill thinks Australia can continue their emergence from slumping into a "pretty bad place" by consigning England to a first home defeat under Eddie Jones at Twickenham on Saturday. Critics rounded on the Wallabies when they were whitewashed 3-0 by England on home soil last year before suffering back-to-back defeats to world champions New Zealand.
Australia ended 2016 with back-to-back defeats to Ireland and England, but Michael Cheika's men have turned their fortunes around this year. The Wallabies finished runners-up in the Rugby Championship and won the final Bledisloe Cup clash with the All Blacks prior to hammering Japan.
Australia also continued their dominance of Wales in Cardiff in the first Test of their tour of the northern hemisphere last weekend and former Wallabies captain Horwill believes his compatriots can maintain their resurgence by getting their hands on the Cook Cup. The Harlequins lock told Omnisport: "I think the Wallabies have made strides in the Rugby Championship with some particularly impressive performances at the back end of the tournament.
"It was a great effort to follow that up with a win over the All Blacks and beat Wales, so they seem to be building very nicely. It has been a tough time for Australian rugby with the Wallabies going through a difficult spell and Western Force being cut from Super Rugby, so it is important that they can inspire the public after the national team was in a pretty bad place not so long ago."
"They seem to be get getting back on track and it will be a great test of how far they have progressed against England at Twickenham. You can always expect a tough, tight contest with England and this should be no different. Eddie is trying a few new things out, but he will obviously be desperate to beat Australia."
"It will be so vital they play with tempo and stop England from getting into their stride. You cannot allow England to get a grip on the game and take control, as they can be hard to stop if they do and it can end up being a tough day. The Wallabies are no doubt capable of doing that and they have shown they have the quality to beat the best, they should be able to go to Twickenham with confidence that they can keep the run going if they play it right" added Horwill.