England v Australia: Maro Itoje praises quality of team and preparation

Maro Itoje in action for England against Australia
Itoje played a key role in the line-out for England in Brisbane

Maro Itoje says he is not "overawed" by high-profile matches because of the confidence he has in his team-mates.

The 21-year-old, winning only his fifth cap, impressed once again in Saturday's historic 39-28 win over Australia.

"When I look around the dressing room at the quality of individuals and the quality of the preparation we've done, it gives me confidence," the lock said.

"When we have that preparation, I don't think there is any need to be nervous or overwhelmed by the occasion."

Itoje has not lost a match he has started for club or country in over a year, and has won the Grand Slam with England and both the Premiership and European Champions Cup with club side Saracens this season.

He maintained that impressive run on Saturday as England secured their first ever win in Brisbane and just their fourth ever against the Wallabies on Australian soil.

He told BBC Sport: "I've never played the second best team in the world before, so that in itself was something different.

"But I've had enough experience in big games now not to be overawed by occasions like this one."

Fly-half George Ford, who came off the bench in a first-half tactical switch to help steer England to victory, praised the man-management of coach Eddie Jones.

George Ford kicks through for Jack Nowell to score
Ford's precise kick set up England's third try late in the game in Brisbane

Ford has endured a mixed season for club and country and was left out of the starting XV, with Owen Farrell and Luther Burrell preferred in midfield, but helped set up two of England's three tries after replacing the latter, with Farrell moving to inside centre.

"To have someone there who supports his players is brilliant, and you try and pay that back by the way you are around camp, and the way you go out and perform on the weekend," he told BBC Sport.

"He [Jones] challenges you in training, he's honest with you in one-to-one meetings, and that's all you want as a player really."

England now have a chance to wrap up the series in the second Test Melbourne, and become the first English side to win a series in Australia.

"All we are looking forward to now is Melbourne," Ford added. "We're going to keep our feet on the ground and make sure we keep getting better."

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