Thursday, October 18, 2007

England or South Africa. Who?

England take on South Africa on Saturday night at the Stade de France for the sport's biggest prize - the Rugby World Cup.
Mark Cueto has replaced the injured Josh Lewsey in the England team for Saturday's World Cup final against South Africa at Stade de France.

The side is otherwise unchanged following the semi-final victory over France.

Lewsey misses out because of a hamstring injury suffered during the semi-final victory over France last weekend.

It will be Sale Sharks wing Cueto's fourth start of the tournament, but his first since the pool victory over Tonga almost three weeks ago.

Cueto has scored 13 tries during a 23-cap Test career and began the World Cup as England's full-back against the United States.

England head coach Brian Ashton has otherwise retained the team and replacements' bench on duty against France.

There are four starting line-up survivors from England's World Cup final triumph against Australia in 2003 - full-back Jason Robinson, fly-half Jonny Wilkinson, prop Phil Vickery and lock Ben Kay.

And centre Mike Catt, 36 last month, will become the oldest player to feature in a World Cup final.

Catt's midfield partner Mathew Tait, meanwhile, is the youngest England player to line up in a final, aged 21.

Ashton could have moved Tait from centre to wing, where he finished the France game, and handed Leicester centre Dan Hipkiss a start, but specialist wing Cueto has won the vote.

England have turned their World Cup campaign on its head, winning four successive games to reach their second successive final against all odds.

No country has ever successfully defended the Webb Ellis Trophy but South Africa will start as favourites after crushing England 36-0 in a pool encounter last month.

It was England's record World Cup defeat, but since then they have toppled Samoa, Tonga, Australia and France.

South Africa coach Jake White named an unchanged starting XV for the Stade de France clash.

England v South Africa 2003 Rugby World Cup

England v South Africa 2003 Rugby World Cup Highlights - kewego
England v South Africa 2003 Rugby World Cup Highlights - kewego

South Africa (58) England (10) 27 May 2007

South Africa vs England 2nd Test 2007

1 comment:

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