Rennie's role is not in doubt -- but the Wallabies' rejuvenation demands series win

This series is in no way make-or-break for Wallabies coach Dave Rennie, but if Australia are to be taken as serious World Cup contenders next year they simply must end their losing Test streak to England and claim the series win.

More than 2,400 days have come and gone since Australia's last victory over England. On that night at Twickenham, the Wallabies turned in a near-perfect performance to officially end England's home World Cup campaign.

It proved the catalyst for the firing of Stuart Lancaster and hiring of Eddie Jones - and the Wallabies have been chasing their tails against the Auld Enemy ever since.

A clean sweep of the 2016 series Down Under, four straight wins at Twickenham, and a crushing 40-17 defeat in the 2019 World Cup quarterfinals - a revenge job for the loss four years earlier - have given England a feeling of invincibility when they see gold jerseys standing across from them.

But when Jones arrived in Australia in 2016, he was riding the momentum of a Six Nations Grand Slam and overwhelming support for both his coaching prowess and his quirky psychological tactics from the travelling press contingent.

Six years on, that is not the case. English rugby supporters and the country's media pack have grown weary of Jones' approach, his almost flippant attitude to the Six Nations and its place in the psyche of English rugby, and the belief that World Cup glory is all that matters.

Some of England's leading journalists even called for Jones to be sacked, before the Rugby Football Union conducted its own review and reinforced its support of the Australian.

But the walls are closing in.

Rennie, meanwhile, has largely enjoyed a serene first two years in charge amid the understanding that it would take time to impart his brand of rugby on the Wallabies and for younger players to be first introduced to the Test arena and then afforded time to find their footing.

The Wallabies were patchy in 2020, but managed a victory over the All Blacks, and finished the year with a 1-2-3 record. Then in 2021 the Wallabies defeated France 2-1, scored back-to-back victories over the world champion Springboks en route to a second place finish in the Rugby Championship, results that were however tarnished by a Bledisloe whitewash by the All Blacks and then later three further defeats to finish the spring tour.

Despite Rennie's 8-9-3 record as Wallabies coach to date, there is a concerted belief that he has taken the team forward and brought on its generation next.

But whatever honeymoon period he might have been afforded is over.

"How important is it to get a result in this series?" Rennie was asked last week in a question that was not as daft as it sounded.

"Winning the series is crucial, we've been together a couple of years now and we reckon we've got more in us and we want to get better, but within that you've got to find ways of winning," Rennie replied.

"And we're well aware of the quality of the opposition, and well aware of the importance of us fronting and performing well.

"So we're excited, it should be a helluva series."

The 2016 series proved to the beginning of the end for Cheika, despite the coach hanging on through to the World Cup. The writing, however, had long been on the wall before that embarrassing defeat in Japan brought down the curtain on his Wallabies tenure.

Rennie's job is safe through to the World Cup, as he has proven that when the Wallabies get it right they have the ability to beat the Springboks, France and even the All Blacks.

But a big white cloud, in the shape of England, continues to hang over Australia's upward trajectory.

Win the series, and it can be a springboard for not just the Rugby Championship but so too a spring tour when they will face World Cup hosts France at full strength.

Ending this long run of outs against England would also wipe off that wry smile that resided across Jones' face across the entire tour of 2016.

Sadly, for the Wallabies, when it comes to matches against Australia, Jones hasn't stopped smiling since.

But Rennie has the group to change that and if the Wallabies are serious about challenging for the Webb Ellis Trophy next year, a series win must be the expectation, not merely the goal.