Weight of the world is on their shoul­ders but hosts will de­liver

The Daily Telegraph - Rugby World Cup - - Sport: Rugby World Cup 2015 -

When I scored that length-of-the field try against Aus­tralia five years ago, Eng­land had also been un­der a lot of pres­sure af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing de­feat by New Zealand at Twick­en­ham.

The week be­fore we felt we let our­selves down. We had been guilty of be­ing starstruck as a group of rel­a­tively young play­ers. Against Aus­tralia we just de­cided to be fear­less and give it a go.

The key that day was get­ting off to a good start and our con­fi­dence grew. Then we were ready to try any­thing and it was that mind­set that cul­mi­nated in the try, with Ben Youngs opt­ing to run the ball from his own line and me end­ing up fin­ish­ing it.

It is still one of my favourite mo­ments in an Eng­land shirt. There is no bet­ter feel­ing than find­ing your­self in open space at Twick­en­ham and know­ing that the de­fend­ers are in trou­ble.

It is go­ing to be dif­fi­cult for Eng­land to be so dar­ing tonight. The stakes are much higher, but the boys should still try to back them­selves if they think it is on.

The pres­sure is al­most too much. I know it is part of their jobs and they should be able to han­dle it, but the lads just want to play rugby and do well for their fam­ily and friends and by do­ing that you make your coun­try proud.

Some­times it is so hard to look past the caul­dron of the World Cup, and de­feat is so dis­ap­point­ing in so many peo­ple’s eyes that you are so up­set about it and want to put it right.

That can take away your free spirit and your will to want to play. Tonight there is only the need and des­per­a­tion to win. I feel for the lads right now, I am sure they feel a huge weight on their shoul­ders, but ul­ti­mately it is just another game of rugby and they just need to find any way they can to win it. I know that they can set Twick­en­ham alight again.

Giv­ing his all: Eng­land can count on Brad Bar­ritt against Aus­tralia

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.