Rugby World Cup 2019: England should shake off fatigue to see off outsiders USA

England coach Eddie Jones.
England coach Eddie Jones.
Alexander Bishop

After a somewhat lackluster victory against Tonga in their opening game, Pool C side England are back in action in the Rugby World Cup 2019 against the USA at Kobe Misaki Stadium on Thursday.

Misaki Stadium is home to top J League side Kobelco Steelers and J League galacticos Vissel Kobe, current home of former FIFA World Cup winners Andres Iniesta and David Villa.

Eddie Jones’s men head into the match after just a 4-day turnaround since their opening match victory.The temperature in the West Japan city of Kobe is expected to be hot and humid, similar to the conditions that hindered their performance against Tonga.

Jones stated that just 5 players from their opening win will remain in the squad with the remaining 10 being rested. The 5 include World Cup debutants Ruaridh McConnochie and Joe Cokanasiga.

George Ford will lead the team out as captain, with Owen Farrell expected to be rested for this match. This will be the last 2nd tier team England will face for the rest of the tournament, so resting the big guns is a common sense approach here.

England have shown their strength to lie within the defence as of late. This was certainly the case in their opener with the mistakes being made in attack. They have not conceded a try in their last two matches.

This year England have recorded wins of more than 35 points against 3 opponents. In the Six Nations against France and Italy and then in the World Cup warm up against Ireland.

Should England tighten up their forward play then this may turn out to be a high-scoring game.

The US Eagles are rank outsiders and have been beaten by England in all 5 of their previous World Cup encounters. That said, the US have scored 35 tries in 8 tests in 2019 and are clearly team that can carry the ball forward. Given the short turnaround England are battling against, this could turn out to be an exciting match.

Whilst the USA are not expected to come close to progressing from the pools, popularity for the sport is increasing in American shores with some players playing in Europe’s top leagues.

Edited by S Chowdhury
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