Moody eyes history against Australia

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The Independent Online

England captain Lewis Moody will tell his players they have a chance to etch their names into rugby history if they beat Australia in Perth tomorrow.

England have only ever beaten the Wallabies twice on Australian soil - in June of 2003 and then again five months later to win the Rugby World Cup.



Every venture to the southern hemisphere since that November night in Sydney has ended in defeat, including three on the bounce to the Wallabies.



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"We are trying to build now on what we achieved in the French game. We came a long way in that game and we need to keep with that momentum," said Moody.



"We know the Australians are an incredibly tough side to beat, especially over here. We've only done that twice in history, it's a tough challenge and the boys know that.



"If you don't get enough motivation from that, then you never will.



"The excitement in the camp is huge and now the players are desperate to get out there and give it our all and that's all you can ask. Now it's up to us to perform."



Australia, who go into the game with their most inexperienced front row in 27 years after suffering an injury crisis up front, this morning also lost Matt Giteau.



Berrick Barnes will line up at inside centre after Giteau failed to shake off a hip injury and James O'Connor will assume the goal-kicking duties.



Australia's injury problems can only help England - particularly up front, where World Cup-winner Steve Thompson will pack down alongside the experienced Tim Payne and rising star Dan Cole.



Former New Zealand rugby league international Shontayne Hape will make his Test debut at inside centre opposite Barnes while Tom Croft returns to the England team at flanker.



Croft was one of the stars of the Lions tour 12 months ago but he missed the Six Nations after suffering a knee injury and is anxious to make his mark in an England jersey.



"After such a big season for me last year it was frustrating to miss out on Leicester's Heineken Cup campaign and then the Six Nations," said Croft.



"I feel fit and fresh and looking forward to some big games down here.



"The Lions was a steep learning curve and the experience will stay with me for a long time.



"There is a lot of onus on my shoulders to start pushing myself in new areas with England. It is something I need to work on.



"I am used to playing in wider channels but the Lions used me more at closer quarters and that has added something to my game."

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