If you listen to the rumours not even the players themselves it seems are interested with even marquee players such as Matt Giteau showing themselves keen to head to Europe as soon as their ARU contracts come up for renewal.
Unfortunately such concerns are dominating the majority of discussion in the media. What we should try to focus on is the rugby, the battle between two sides, their war plans drawn up and their armour proudly worn.
There have been a few changes to the Australian side announced this week. George Smith returns to the starting line up, this has been applauded by the rugby public as he is arguably the best flanker in world rugby, or at least competes strongly for the position, David Pocock did little wrong in Tokyo against the All-Blacks, but when it comes to consistency in performance and seniority to guide the way, we must look no further than George Smith, who shall in the coming years leading up to the World Cup become Australia’s most capped player, if not the world's.
In addition to this, Digby Ione has been moved into the centres, as Ewen Mckenzie who is about to take over from Phil Mooney at Queensland twittered “Four Reds boys in the Wallaby Backline v England - looks promising!” Now for obvious reasons he is pleased about taking over such talent, but he also resonates a simple truth in this statement. The most exciting and prolific backs in the super 14 (from Australia) were the Reds, and we now have them rearing to go for the Wallabies.
Some in the rugby community have voiced concerns over Quade Cooper’s ‘erratic’ defence, however if there is one thing the Wallabies have proved in recent times is that their defence (allowing that they do not give away an unreasonable amount of possession) is solid, this has been a focus and Cooper shall hopefully flourish for Australia in the ensuing test.
Admittedly he is a volatile player who is apt to either turn in an amazing performance, or an absolute shocker.
Where are the concerns for the Wallabies?
How will they win this match?
There are three elements to this conundrum but they must be prefaced by stating my own belief that the Wallabies will win.
It is a question of winning well or winning badly. In order to restrict the English side, the Wallabies will firstly have to put in a strong forward performance. This is to compliment their backs who we know are adventurous, unpredictable and deadly when given the opportunity.
As the undisputable doctrine of the rather more robust veterans of the game go: The foundation of a good team is the front three. The scrums must be controlled and more importantly the line-out throwing needs consistency. When dominating the set pieces, control of the rucks and mauls shall invariably follow.
A strong forwards game will set the platform for Giteau and his troops to launch their way over the try line.
The second element is self-belief, Wallabies sides tend to be incredibly emotional. The Greg Smith era before Rod Macqueen took over the coaching role saw a side that forgot how to win, Robbie Deans has mentioned in a few interviews a similar issue with the current Wallabies and the need to develop a winning culture only last week he explained the key to the Wallabies defeat as “reading their own press”.
In addition to this the Australian side must place pressure on Wilkinson. He has walked back into the England side after years of debilitating injuries and withering form, yet he appears to be set for a revival,
Jonny is the bane of the Wallabies existence, he has thwarted us not once, but twice. If it were up to him he will attempt to kick us into submission for the third time and deny the Wallabies the grand slam.
So I personally look onto Sunday morning with great excitement, that may be a product of the dwindling and uninteresting life I lead or it may be the fact that this could be an opportunity for a fresh start for Australia.
Digby Ione and Ashley Cooper played a fantastic game last week and seem sure to fire up again, Smith returns against a side he knows well (what side doesn’t he? He has 106 test caps!) and will control the breakdown methodically, frustrating the English forwards.
Rocky will lead and so too will Giteau and maybe just maybe, we shall see some consistency emerge on this Grand Slam tour at just about the right time to build for the World Cup.