Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell helped England seal a historic series whitewash over Australia with a thrilling 44-40 victory in Sydney in the third and final Test.
It was the first whitewash suffered by the Wallabies against anyone since 1971 as Eddie Jones extended his unbeaten start as England’s head coach to nine games in front of a record attendance of 44,009 at the Allianz Stadium.
The 44 points racked up by England was a record score against the Australians, the second time they have broken that record on this tour, with Farrell scoring 24 points in total.
Farrell’s Saracens club-mates Jamie George and Billy Vunipola both scored second-half tries after Leicester Tiger Dan Cole and Harlequins’ Mike Brown’s earlier efforts.
The Tigers prop opened the scoring with his third Test try to put England ahead before Australia hit back with two scores of their own.
First Bernard Foley was perfectly placed to receive Israel Folau’s pass after he broke down the left wing. And Foley turned provider minutes later as Dane Haylett-Petty crossed on the opposite wing.
Farrell and Foley exchanged penalties before Brown’s determination and strength saw him collect Anthony Watson’s clever chip through to score England’s second try.
Brown made 32 metres throughout the game, with only Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell making more, and crucially beat seven defenders as he demonstrated his return to form.
Head coach Jones decided to replace Northampton flanker Teimana Harrison – starting instead of the injured James Haskell – with Courtney Lawes after just half an hour and England trailed by just a single point at half-time.
A powerful burst from the base of a five-metre scrum saw Billy Vunipola charge over for England’s third try before Michael Hooper, who impressed throughout, once again dragged Australia back into the game.
Leicester bound centre Matt Toomua – who made 58 metres and beat three defenders – was also key to the hosts’ strength in attack and it was one of his breaks that set up Israel Folau for his second try, the 20th of his international career.
With Australia ahead by four, Saracens’ hooker Jamie George touched down for England’s fourth try after poking Danny Care’s low pass over the try line with his boot.
But it was Farrell’s nerveless kicking, including a penalty in the 79th minute, which proved vital for the visitors in the tense closing moments.
Wing Taqele Naiyaravoro still found time to score Australia’s fifth try late on but it was nothing more than a consolation as England celebrated another impressive win.