England vs Argentina
9:00am Saturday October
When they face Argentina in what they expect to be first of five hard and expect games, england’s Rugby World Cup campaign begins on Saturday.
Eddie Jones could not hide his joy in reaching this stage of the tournament with wins Tonga and the United States under his belt and also unusually a healthy group of 31 to pick from.
No turnarounds, no juggling of resources – a series of tests each weekend against grade one nations.
Victory on the Pumas will secure top place in Pool C and a together with Australia.
Jones was dismissive of people who have been underwhelmed with their screens – games that’ll be long forgotten should they go to triumph or reach the final.
”We are in a excellent place,” he said. ”It’s similar to the Tour de France. We have gone through phase one. We get off the bicycle refuel, a little bit after which we proceed and we move into phase two.
”Then we have got stage three, four and five. You don’t have to be at the yellow jersey today; you will need to be inside in the time it counts.”
Jones, obviously, will not allow his players to look beyond the experience of Saturday, and though he went through the conventional routine of piling praise on his opponents, it might be a enormous upset if England stuttered.
Argentina’s victory over Tonga was their first after 10 consecutive defeats, such as their opener at Japan from France that likely put paid to their qualification hopes 80 minutes to the championship.
The side are a shadow of the team who attained the and have won just five of their last 33 games.
They were too strong for Tonga and showed flashes of caliber at a second-half comeback against the French but look ill-equipped to prevent a 10th consecutive defeat by England.
They will surely be moved, knowing defeat would almost surely rubber-stamp their exit, and prior skipper Agustin Creevy said the match would be”like a war, such as a closing for us”.
Creevy, who is likely to acquire an Argentine record 88th cap from the seat on Saturday, also channelled the conventional”we are prouder than you” mantra so many teams wheeled out when confronting England.
”If we put on this shirt we all feel something different. It is our country, our loved ones, my heart. We perform together, the group is truly secured,” he explained.
”We love each other, and I think that’s different to other teams. We are brothers, inside and outside the area.”
A tearful national anthem and a number of hugs, however, are not likely to be anything like sufficient to unseat England, and rather his other claim – that the favourites and dull, rugby that is engineered perform – will have a ton more related to the outcome.
England power-prop Mako Vunipola, that has played only 17 minutes since suffering a hamstring injury in May, will likely be slipped back into action off the bench.
But Jones will anticipate scrum parity for a minimum within an area where Argentina have slipped out of their lofty heights.
He now seems depended at 12.
England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Joe Marler, two Jamie George, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 George Kruis, 6 Tom Curry, 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Jack Nowell.
Argentina: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Matas Moroni, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente, 11 Santiago Carreras, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Toms Cubelli; 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, two Julian Montoya, 3 Juan Figallo, 4 Guido Petti, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 6 Pablo Matera (c), seven Marcos Kremer, 8 Javier Ortega Desio.
Replacements: 23 Bautista Delguy, 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Mayco Vivas 19 Matias Alemanno 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Lucas Mensa.