World Cup oblivion awaits if England lose for a second time in a fiercely competitive Pool A to become the first host nation to exit the tournament at the group stage, a fate made possible by the 28-25 loss to Wales.
If England were to beat Australia comfortably, collecting the bonus point in the process, Wales could still crash out at the hands of Australia. A classic match is promised. “We’ve got to come out with a real intensity and edge to our game, a physicality”, said Youngs of what is a do-or-die game for the hosts. But, interestingly, betting odds on the two teams advancing from Pool A favour Wales with Australia hedged with England.
“I understand the consequences, I understand the accountability and responsibility for delivering in this World Cup, 100 per cent. There’s no hiding away from it”.
“The picture would be completely different on Saturday night after a win”.
Lancaster dropped Sam Burgess to the bench to make way for a fit-again Jonathan Joseph in a midfield combination with Brad Barritt that England started the tournament with.
“For kicking, Owen Farrell is very important, so we’ll be ok”. We have got that chance on Saturday to put it right. We’ve all got a role to play. I don’t subscribe to that view personally.
Stuart Lancaster has ruled out a trip to the cinema to help pass the long hours before England’s decisive World Cup showdown with Australia after his last visit resulted in an unfortunate choice of film.
“I think we did well defensively so we were happy with that”.
Most rugby observers would suggest that Australia fullback Israel Folau and flanker David Pocock, among others, would walk into the England side.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has tried to insist that England, who’ve won the last two tests against Australia on the back of a powerful forward effort, believe his side have a “weak” pack.
Asked if there has been plenty of banter flying around the Sky blues training camp, he said: “There’s been a little bit but all of a sudden no-one in the building likes rugby, funnily enough apart from me and George Thomas”. I think we will win and then move on to the final Pool game against Uruguay. The team’s got themselves into pretty good mental and physical shape to take on this huge encounter.
“I think we knew what game they were going to play, and that they had a positive mindset”.
Australian winger Adam Ashley-Cooper, who is lining up on Saturday night, hit back at the social-media loving Cipriani – saying he would be unfit for Wallabies duty.
Among the replacements, experienced Harlequins back-rower Nick Easter is bidding to play in his third World Cup after being drafted into the squad as a replacement for Vunipola.