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England 'looking fit, fast, brutal'

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England face test of their 'manlihood'

By PA Authors
By Online Editors

Eddie Jones believes England face a test of their “manlihood” when they attempt to guarantee passage into the World Cup quarter-finals by defeating Argentina.

The rivals clash at Tokyo Stadium on Saturday when the Pumas will be fighting to survive at Japan 2019 after losing their opener to France – England’s closest rivals for top spot in Pool C.

Until toppling Tonga last weekend, Argentina had lost their previous 10 Tests and they should be swept aside by the 2003 champions. But Jones insists that for England to prevail, they must win the forward battle.

“Argentina base their game on the scrum. It’s a test of manlihood so you have to take them on up-front – scrum, maul, ruck attack, ruck defence. That’s where it will be won,” Jones said.

“Everyone trained really well this morning – they’re looking fit, fast, brutal and ready to go.

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“There are no last minute messages. The players are well prepared after a good week’s preparation. They know what to do, now they just have to go out there and do it.”

“They were very unlucky to lose to France and all the stats from the game suggest they should have won it. We have the greatest respect for Argentina.”

“You have to be smart about that and rugby is a tough physical game and we have seen that already at the World Cup. The passion and pride come out in the toughness (with which) you play but there is also emotional control. When you have passion and pride it tends to multiply your strengths and weaknesses. We want to multiply our strengths and attack their weaknesses.”

“It isn’t a case of us taking advantage of Argentina. It is a matter of us preparing well for the game and physically we are in the best condition we have ever been in and the players were absolutely flying this morning. Mentally, we are in a good position and we cannot be seduced by Argentina’s state.

“They play with a lot of pride and passion and it will be multiplied by the fact they are in a game that is very important for them. It is pretty evident how they are going to play by the team they have picked. First part of the game will be pretty important with possibly 33C and some wind. It will be a test of each team’s courage out there.”

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England face test of their 'manlihood'