News Update


No ‘pats on the back’ for England reaching the last eight of the Rugby World Cup in 2023, according to Richard Wigglesworth.

Japan’s victory over Samoa on Thursday ensured England’s place in the final eight with a game to spare.

“Did you get a pat on the back?” No, absolutely not. “That’s not what we do,” Wigglesworth explained.

After victories over Argentina, Japan, and Chile, Steve Borthwick’s team is also assured to win Pool D.

“It’s not what you do if you’re trying to be any good,” Wigglesworth remarked. “You try to turn up and get better – and if stuff happens on that back of that, then great.”

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England had a dismal Six Nations start to 2023, losing three of their four summer warm-up matches, including their first defeat by Fiji, leaving them rated eighth in the world heading into the World Cup.

Despite the improvement in form and results, captain Owen Farrell agreed with Wigglesworth that it is “not a huge pat on the back.”

“We still have a long way to go in this competition,” said Farrell, who returned from suspension for the 71-0 victory over Chile.

“From the outside, many have written us off, but that has not been the case in here. We believe in what we’re doing and have done so even when things haven’t gone exactly as planned.”

Wigglesworth expects Borthwick to choose his strongest team to face Samoa in order to sustain their momentum after three consecutive victories in France.

“I don’t think there will be experimentation in this game,” he stated. “I don’t think the same team will be used game after game.” The team chosen will be the most capable of defeating Samoa.

“As for outside noise [and criticism], it wasn’t even on our radar in terms of relief.” On that front, we expected to be where we are.”

Following his 16-point haul against Chile, Saracens fly-half Farrell is currently just one point away from breaking Jonny Wilkinson’s all-time England record of 1,179.


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