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Fiji coach says there's something familiar about this England team

By PA
South Africa's centre Francois Steyn (R) runs with the ball, followed by (from L) South Africa's centre Jaque Fourie, fly-half Butch James and flanker Schalk Burger during the rugby union World Cup final match England vs South Africa, 20 October 2007 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIK (Photo credit should read PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP via Getty Images)

Steve Borthwick’s England have taken on the personality of the side that unexpectedly reached the 2007 World Cup final, according to Fiji assistant coach Seremaia Bai.

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England have emerged from August’s dismal warm-up campaign to reach the quarter-finals as Pool D winners on the back of four victories.

Sixteen years ago at a World Cup also hosted by France, Brian Ashton’s team overcame a poor group campaign to go within a whisker of beating South Africa in the the final.

Head-to-Head

Last 3 Meetings

Wins
2
Draws
0
Wins
1
Average Points scored
37
23
First try wins
67%
Home team wins
67%

Fiji are the next assignment for England and they enter Sunday’s Marseille showdown knowing they stormed Twickenham less than two months ago.

“It gives us great confidence going into the game that we have beaten them,” kicking coach Bai said.

“But the most important thing in a play-off is that anything can happen so we have to regroup, refocus and we will have to prepare well for this resilient English side.

“They remind me of the 2007 tournament where everybody wrote England off but they reached the final.

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“They have shown how good they are, with players who have played on the big stage. We respect that and take it on board.”

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