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Heinz blames forwards, not weather, for sweaty balls

Reporting from Tokyo: England scrumhalf Willi Heinz says it’s forwards and not the weather that are effecting Rugby World Cup ball handling.

England take on Argentina this weekend in the Japanese capital in what is set to be a fiercely contested encounter.

The humidity factor has been a major talking point at the 2019 World Cup, with muggy conditions being blamed for an increase in handling errors.

Heinz has another theory however. Big sweaty forwards.

“For some reason it feels different to a rainy ball. Every now and then you think you have a good handle on the ball and just as it comes out of your hand it does something unexpected and you lose that purchase.

“All teams are working hard on it and we are putting a bit of soap on the ball to try and replicate those conditions. I haven’t used gloves but I did try a bit of tape on the ends of my fingers and that seemed to be quite useful so maybe have a crack at that.”

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Asked if it was to do with the design of the ball and not the conditions, Heinz was adamant it was the fatties who were at fault.

“No, it’s just because we have these big forwards sweating making the ball sweaty.”

The New Zealand born nine came off the bench in England’s RWC 2019 opener against Tonga and will be hoping to get more game under his belt as the Pool stages progress.

Heinz his test debut in a 33-19 RWC 2019 warm-up victory against Wales at Twickenham in August, having been named as vice-captain and the starting scrum-half for the match.

Press conference with Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend and captain Stuart McInally after their 34-0 win over Samoa in the Rugby World Cup group stage.

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Heinz blames forwards, not weather, for sweaty balls