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Rugby, Australian Football: 'HUGE PRESSURE' ON ENGLAND

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posted on Aug, 29 2003 @ 03:48 PM
England boss Clive Woodward believes there will be "huge pressure" on his players when they tackle France at the Stade Velodrome on Saturday night.

Not only are key individuals playing for prospective World Cup places, but England also find themselves protecting a 14-Test unbeaten record on a ground where France have never lost.

Those combined factors give Woodward an ideal scenario as he begins finalising his plans before announcing the 30-man World Cup squad on Monday week.

As against Wales in Cardiff last weekend, Woodward's latest starting line-up features players fighting for World Cup recognition.

Whereas at the Millennium Stadium it was people like Alex King, Stuart Abbott and Simon Shaw, seven days later, step forward full-back Iain Balshaw, centre Ollie Smith, scrum-half Austin Healey and lock Steve Borthwick, among others.

And there is also an unexpected opportunity for Sale Sharks back-row forward Alex Sanderson, who was promoted to the starting XV on Wednesday when Joe Worsley twisted his ankle.


France: N Brusque (Biarritz); A Rougerie (Montferrand), Y Jauzion (Toulouse), D Traille (Pau), C Dominici (Stade Francais); F Michalak (Toulouse), F Galthie (Stade Francais, capt); J-J Crenca (Agen), Y Bru (Toulouse), S Marconnet (Stade Francais), F Pelous (Toulouse), J Thion (Perpignan), S Betsen (Biarritz), O Magne (Montferrand), I Harinordoquy (Pau).

Replacements: R Ibanez (Saracens), O Milloud (Bourgoin), D Auradou (Stade Francais), S Chabal (Bourgoin), P Tabacco (Stade Francais), X Garbajosa (Toulouse), B Liebenberg (Stade Francais).

England: I Balshaw (Bath); J Lewsey (Wasps), O Smith (Leicester), M Tindall (Bath), B Cohen (Northampton); P Grayson (Northampton), A Healey (Leicester); G Rowntree (Leicester), D West (Leicester, capt), J White (Leicester), S Borthwick (Bath), D Grewcock (Bath), M Corry (Leicester), L Moody (Leicester), A Sanderson (Sale Sharks).

Replacements: S Thompson (Northampton), J Leonard (Harlequins), S Shaw (Wasps), A Hazell (Gloucester), A Gomarsall (Gloucester), D Walder (Newcastle), J Noon (Newcastle).

Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa).

Touch judges: David McHugh and Simon McDowell (both Ireland).


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