Earl and England look ahead to Rugby World Cup semi-final
England star Marcus Smith will reportedly be fit to face South Africa in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals on Saturday. The full-back, who produced a scintillating performance when Steve Borthwick’s men thrashed Chile in the pool stages of the competition, suffered only a ‘fat lip’ during the quarter-final victory over Fiji on Sunday despite a nasty clash of heads.
According to The Mirror, England expect Smith to be available on Saturday to again challenge Freddie Steward for the No 15 shirt.
Smith, who kept Steward out of the team against the Pacific Islanders, was in the wars during the last-eight showdown and was also forced to wear a bandage around his head following a clash with Vinaya Habosi. The 24-year-old is regarded by many as a potential match-winner for England, despite being moved away from his usual fly-half position during the tournament.
England were beaten by South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final four years ago as the Springboks lifted the trophy for the third time. And Borthwick’s team will have their work cut out if they are to topple their rivals at the Stade de France in Paris. But England lock Maro Itoje has insisted he doesn’t care about his team’s underdogs tag after revealing he watched a documentary about Jason Kelce in which the NFL star said ‘hungry dogs run faster’.
Read more… Princess Kate propositioned by cheeky French rugby fans telling her to divorce
The Saracens ace explained: “Whether we are underdogs or whether we are favourites, I don’t really care. It is about what we do in the moment. We’re going to go in there hungry. We’re going to go in with absolute passion and desire.
“That’s going to be our goal. It takes focus and self-belief. These games don’t come by too often. You want to take the bull by the horns. It’s all about taking opportunities and seizing the moment.
“When you get to the semi-final level of World Cups everything is a contest. Every scrum, every breakdown, every carry, every set piece, you have to make it a contest. Whoever wins the most contests wins the game.”
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Rugby World Cup plunged into controversy as video of ‘illegal charge’ emerges[VIDEO]
Eddie Jones ‘coming clean’ on Australia future as friend tells him ‘be honest'[QUOTES]
Fiji complain of ‘bias’ as Rugby World Cup ref blasted after England loss[DETAILS]
England lifted their only Rugby World Cup trophy back in 2003 when they defeated Australia in the final. They have since lost to South Africa twice in the showpiece event, with their heartbreak four years ago following disappointment in the 2007 final. And the Northern Hemisphere side will be hoping to topple the Springboks for only the second time at the tournament, with South Africa beating England in four of their five previous Rugby World Cup encounters.
“We have achieved nothing yet,” added England prop Ellis Genge. “But when you start winning you start believing. It’s about actions not words. You can say it all week, but when you’re properly fighting for each other it builds you.”
Buy all of your Rugby World Cup 2023 programmes here
Source: Read Full Article