Rugby World Cup 2015: Gatland torn by England-Australia game

As it is, the 24-year-old will resume his berth at outside centre with Barritt, the defensive lynchpin who was badly exposed alongside Burgess on Saturday, shifting back to his preferred position at 12 and the rugby league convert dropping to the bench in place of Alex Goode.


In the pack, No 8 Ben Morgan and lock Joe Launchbury have replaced Billy Vunipola and Courtney Lawes respectively because of knee injuries.

The English are no strangers to having the last couple of weeks of the tournament off, losing in the quarter finals in 1987, 1999 and 2011 but a pool stage departure especially in their own backyard will be met with a less than positive outlook from the powers that be.

“It’s a game we want to win because we want to go through as group winners”.

Lancaster admitted he faces a tenure-defining clash against Australia, but refused to accept he had looked past the weekend.

Warren Gatland insists he will remain a neutral spectator this weekend – even if Australia hold Wales’ immediate World Cup destiny in their hands against England at Twickenham.

But they were just thankful to have won the game just five days after the euphoria of their Twickenham heroics.

“I understand the consequences, I understand the accountability and responsibility for delivering in this World Cup, 100 per cent. There’s no hiding away from it”.

“As a head coach you don’t take the players beyond Saturday, you take them to Saturday”.

“The stakes are huge, but the boys will be ready”.

“The guys have been pretty exhausted, so I thought we played well in the first half”.

“If you start distracting yourself with “what-ifs”, you are not doing your job”.

“It was a big blow to lose Jonathan Joseph last week, he’s hard to replace”.

It doesn’t bother Cheika, who said he had selected his back row for its combination and the way the loose forwards – along with blindside flanker Scott Fardy – play complementary roles.

For England coach Stuart Lancaster, survival is the primary concern.

“They put us under a bit of pressure, but they put Australia under pressure as well”, he said.

“It was a big blow to lose JJ last week, he’s hard to replace, a high-quality player”, said Lancaster.

“I think the next level was for him to dictate like that in a Welsh shirt, and I think he has done that”.

“We’ve also got a high-quality referee in Romain Poite and he’s more than capable of refereeing this game without anyone’s help I’m sure”. Now Wales have one more Pool assignment left, against Australia at Twickenham on 10 October, but by then they may already have one foot in the quarter-finals.


Fiji’s last game is against Uruguay on Tuesday, when there’s an opportunity to get a few reward for all their endeavours.

AFP  File  Glyn Kirk England player Danny Cipriani talks to Nick Easter during a national rugby team training session at the Pennyhill Park training ground near Bagshot