In Brief

Rugby World Cup diary: Argentina ready for ‘war’ against England

Jamie George says England will not be rattled by the pre-match talk

England vs. Argentina
  • What: Rugby World Cup pool C 
  • When: Saturday 5 October 
  • Where: Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo 
  • UK start time: 9am  
  • TV channel: live on ITV

Expect fireworks on Saturday when England and Argentina go head-to-head in Rugby World Cup pool C at the Tokyo Stadium. 

After losing 23-21 to France in their opening game Argentina hit back with a 28-12 bonus-point win over Tonga to take their tally to six points. 

England, who have beaten Tonga 35-3 and the United States 45-7, top the table with ten points. They have one point more than France, who beat the United States 33-9 on Thursday morning. 

Pumas hooker Agustin Creevy predicts that Saturday’s clash is going to be like a “war”. Creevy, who previously played for Worcester Warriors, said: “I think the battle is going to be in the forwards. 

“We need to win the scrum, we need to win the lineout, the maul and the breakdown. Saturday’s going to be like a war. It’s a final for us.”

England won’t be rattled

In response to Creevy’s war cry and claims that Eddie Jones’s side play “boring” rugby, Jamie George says England will not be rattled by the pre-match talk. 

Hooker George said: “I don’t think we play boring rugby. I’m not overly surprised that he’s tried to say that, but he’s entitled to his opinion and hopefully we’ll prove him wrong on Saturday. 

“In my opinion, I don’t think it’s very justified. I’m sure he’s just trying to rattle us a bit. He’s more than welcome to try.”

X-factor backs

England forwards coach Steve Borthwick says the team are ready to take on the strong Pumas pack and the “X-factor” players in the backs.

“They have got a very strong forward pack, we’ve known and seen that over a period of time,” said Borthwick. 

“Their scrum has certainly improved from the point where it was, which is what you’d expect with a coach like Mario Ledesma coaching them now they’ve been in camp for a period and had chance to address that. 

“Then they have got some backs who have got X-factor, you can list a few like [Nicolas] Sanchez and [Emiliano] Boffelli Obefllie straight away, so they are a very good side.”

Jones: show passion and intensity

England head coach Eddie Jones has named his team for the clash against Argentina. 

George Ford plays at fly-half while captain Owen Farrell returns at inside centre. Lock George Kruis comes into the back row in place of Courtney Lawes.

Jones said: “Argentina are always about the physical contest. They’ve got good players, they’ve got a reasonably settled way of playing. 

“They enjoy World Cups more than the other major teams, because there’s such a pride and there’s such a passion. The challenge for us is to show the same level of intensity and passion at the start of the game.”

England team
  • Starting XV: Daly; Watson, Tuilagi, Farrell, May; Ford, B Youngs; Marler, George, Sinckler; Itoje, Kruis; Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola
  • Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, M Vunipola, Cole, Lawes, Ludlam, Heinz, Slade, Nowell
Argentina team
  • Starting XV: Boffelli; Moroni, Orlando, De La Fuente, Carreras; Urdapilleta, Cubelli; Chaparro, Montoya, Figallo, Pagadizabal, Lavanini, Matera, Kremer, Desio
  • Replacements: Creevy, Vivas, Medrano, Alemanno, Lezana, Ezcurra, Mensa, Delguy

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