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England prepare for heavyweight encounter

30 September 2007

30 September 2007
As England prepare to face the Wallabies in Saturday's Rugby World Cup 2007 quarter final in Marseille, forwards coaches John Wells and Graham Rowntree are preparing for a heavyweight encounter.

Scrummaging coach Graham Rowntree gave the front row players 7 out of 10 for their performance against the Tongans.  "We didn't dominate them as much as we would have hoped but they are a good outfit

"We haven't had a settled team coming into this competition so there has always been a lot of places up for grabs. 

"There's a lot of things in the melting pot and a lot of people still trying to put their hands up for selection.  It's fierce and it's going to be difficult picking a team, especially picking a pack for the next weekend in the quarter final.

"Australia have a good forward outfit now and we know we're going to have out hands full there.  It's going to be a tough game - a very tough game. But I'm looking forward to it immensely!"

Assistant coach John Wells agreed that, for once, he has a selection headache of the best kind to face up to this week. 

"What we've got is a number of people putting in credible performances and I'm hoping that come tomorrow we're got all 16 forwards in a position to train.

"There's been no easy let-up matches for us, no opportunities to rest players.  So we've had to dig pretty deep. 

"But over the last few weeks we've shown we capable of making those subtle but worthwhile improvements."

"We've been pretty pleased with what's been happening up front but there's still a lot of things we could do better. We've been reviewing Friday's game for a few days and we know we won't get away with some of the things we've been doing poorly, against Australia. 

You can hear the full interviews by visiting the official England Supporters website at and clicking on the podcast link every day from 5pm.

As well as daily interviews with players and coaches the Gillette Rugby Podcast will give England fans direct access to exclusive behind the scenes interviews to help them keep up to date with the latest news from inside the England team camp as well as the low down on what else is making the headlines throughout the 2007 tournament.


By visiting the RFU's official England supporters website England fans can choose to listen to the free podcast every day from 5pm or subscribe to have it delivered daily straight to their inbox.  


Launched last November, the weekly Gillette Rugby Podcast takes a topical look at the world of rugby, addressing issues from the elite game right through to the grass roots.  Previously a weekly service, the podcast goes daily throughout the 2007 RWC.  It is available to download free from every day.