Burgess and Farrell set to start

“We will give him every chance by Thursday, so he can pull on an England shirt at the weekend”, Farrell said.


“Obviously, there is a lot of pressure on them (England), but I am sure they will rise to it, as we will rise to it, going to Twickenham“.

Having lost an influential and gifted attacking talent in Joseph to a chest injury, Lancaster has reverted to a rather cautious line-up that will see defensive captain Brad Barritt shift a place to outside centre to accommodate the arrival of rugby league convert Burgess.

Had Joseph been fit, there were suggestions that Barritt could be benched on Saturday after struggling in the Pool A opener, but Farrell has backed him to bounce back. I see it as a positive that they have two quality options at fly-half, and that they can change personnel depending on the requirements of each individual game.

And looking ahead to the game, Wales lock Alun-Wyn Jones said: “We will step out into the storm in a couple of days’ time”.

Sam Burgess” inclusion in the centres, alongside Brad Barritt, points to England’s decision to play hard ball and take the “ultra direct’ route.

If Morgan is ruled out, head coach Stuart Lancaster would face a simpler choice with Billy Vunipola starting at number eight and James Haskell elevated to the bench.

“We were stopped a little bit in terms of our breakdown accuracy and set piece”.

“Everyone gets super excited about the partnership of the centres but the balance is not just for the backline, it’s for the team”.

“I always try to eat the right thing but I can’t help myself when I go home and my mum’s made some Nigerian food”.

They didn’t have it all their own way though with Fiji destroying England at the breakdown in the second half, something which wouldn’t have gone unnoticed by Gatland and the Wales management.

“The start of the game is pretty important as well; how you get off and how you make the other team feel”, Farrell told reporters at England’s training base in Bagshot, southwest of London, on Tuesday.

The New Zealander must decide whether to retain an out-of-form Alex Cuthbert on the wing or go for 20-year-old Newport Gwent Dragons back Hallam Amos, while the hooking berth is a straight battle between Scott Baldwin and Ken Owens.

Warren Gatland may be forgiven for not expressing too much sympathy for Lancaster’s personnel issues with Wales now experiencing something of an injury crisis.


Sam Warburton will lead Wales into a Rugby World Cup clash with an England side that he believes has become a completely different team in the last two years. In 2013 we won in the Millennium Stadium quite well and since then we haven’t beaten England and people quickly forget that.

England's Sam Burgess