Hartley: ‘Squad are highly-motivated’

England captain Dylan Hartley believes the Test series against Australia in June will be an indication of how far Eddie Jones’ side have come, after winning the Six Nations and picking up a first Grand Slam in 13 years back in March.

Hartley believes that they will have to make a step up to beat the Southern Hemisphere giants if their rise in the World rankings is to be taken seriously.

Hartley told the England Rugby website: “If we want to be the best, we’ve got to beat the best and what better place to do that than against Australia in their own backyard.

“I’m looking forward to it and I’ve got a highly-motivated squad that want to do that as well.”

The England skipper added that his side will have to mix their game up when they take on the Wallabies and they cannot rely on the same playing style which brought them success in the Six Nations.

‘We need to recap the Six Nations and what made us tick there,” he added.

“We need to progress and we need to get better, we can’t play the same standard of rugby as we did in the Six Nations. It’s another step up but it’s exciting.

“We went up in the world rankings. The next step is to play the number one and two sides in the world in New Zealand and Australia, and we’ve got Australia."