One of the oldest rivalries in international men’s rugby will be reprised when England visit Australia for a three-test series in July.
Since their first encounter 113 years ago, the sides have met a total of 52 times with Australia winning 25, England 26 and the teams playing out a 15-15 draw in 1997.
With less than 18 months to go until Rugby World Cup 2023, the series will also be an important staging post for both England and the Wallabies on the road to France.
Here is everything you need to know ahead of July’s test series.
Where and when will the matches be played?
The first test will take place at Optus Stadium in Perth on 2 July, where Australia have played twice before, both against New Zealand, winning one and losing the other.
Seven days later, the teams face each other at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, before Sydney Cricket Ground plays host to the third and final test on 16 July.
England suffered heavy defeats against the Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium in 1998 and 2004 but won on their previous visit to Brisbane in 2016. The tourists have only played at the Sydney Cricket Ground once before, losing 16-9 to Australia in 1975.
What do Australia and England hope to get out of the series?
Coming at the start of their international season, the Wallabies will hope to use the series against England to find some form ahead of The Rugby Championship 2022.
Australia finished second to the All Blacks in last year’s tournament and a good series against England would be ideal preparation as they attempt to win the title for the first time since 2015.
England, meanwhile, could rest some of their players who toured South Africa with the British and Irish Lions in 2021. The series will therefore give coach Eddie Jones an opportunity to test the depth of his squad.
“The Australia tour is a great opportunity for growth for this team and a good challenge at the end of the season,” Jones said.
“It will be the first time many of the younger players have toured abroad with England and it will be vital practice and experience ahead of the World Cup.”
Do the teams compete for a trophy?
Since 1997, the winners of non-Rugby World Cup meetings between the sides have been awarded the Cook Cup.
Named after Captain James Cook, the English explorer who links the two countries, it was intended that the contest would be a biannual event.
However, since 1998, 2004 was the only year in which home-and-away matches between Australia and England were held.
The Cook Cup is not on offer during Rugby World Cup matches between the sides, meaning that England have had possession of it for the past nine years, since a 20-13 defeat of the Wallabies at Twickenham in 2013.
Will the results have an impact on the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini?
Yes. At the time of writing England are fifth in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini, one place and 0.58 rating points ahead of Australia.
Japan are the only team in the top 10 who are scheduled to play a test before July, a two-match series against Uruguay in June, meaning that the gap will remain when the Wallabies welcome England to Perth.
Whoever wins the series will be able to improve their rating and potentially close the gap on South Africa, France, New Zealand and Ireland above them.
Have England toured Australia before?
England and Australia first contested a test match in 1909, when the Wallabies won 9-3 at Rectory Field in Blackheath, just outside London.
However, it was not until 1963 that England played in Australia. The visitors took on the Wallabies at the Sydney Sports Ground on 4 June that year, and were beaten 18-9.
England did not beat the Wallabies in Australia until June 2003, when they won 25-14 at the Telstra Dome. Five months later they repeated the trick in Sydney to win Rugby World Cup 2003.
What happened when they were last in Australia?
During his first year in charge of England, in 2016, Eddie Jones took the side on a three-match tour of Australia.
England played tests in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney and won them all. Owen Farrell scored 66 points in the series, an average of 22 points per game.
Have the teams ever met at Rugby World Cup?
Australia and England were drawn in the same pool for the inaugural tournament, Rugby World Cup 1987, with the Wallabies winning that match 19-6.
Four years later the teams met in the final at Twickenham and again it was Australia who were victorious, 12-6, thanks to Tony Daly’s try and eight points from the boot of Michael Lynagh, as the Wallabies lifted the Webb Ellis Cup for the first time.
The teams contested a quarter-final classic at RWC 1995, when Rob Andrew’s late drop-goal edged England to a 25-22 victory in Cape Town.
At RWC 2003, the Wallabies were defending champions and hosts but were beaten in the final as another drop-goal, this time scored by Jonny Wilkinson in extra-time, secured England’s first Webb Ellis Cup triumph.
The two sides have met three times at Rugby World Cup since then. England have won quarter-final encounters at both RWC 2007 and RWC 2019, while Australia beat them at Twickenham again during RWC 2015.