Marler rates England's RWC chances

Fri, 15 Feb 2013 19:49
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Prop Joe Marler has said England would back themselves to win the World Cup if it started tomorrow.

Prop Joe Marler has said England would back themselves to win the World Cup if it started tomorrow but stressed there was plenty of work to be done before they play host to the next edition in 2015.

England are on a fine run of form at present, having beaten world champions New Zealand in December, and they lead the Six Nations with two wins out of two.

Victories at home to Scotland and away to Ireland have left England as the only country in this season's Six Nations capable of winning a Grand Slam ahead of the visit of France a week on Saturday.

After England's record-breaking 38-21 win over New Zealand at Twickenham in December, All Black coach Steve Hansen said Stuart Lancaster's side were capable of winning the World Cup.

And Marler said Friday: "If it was to start tomorrow, we'd back ourselves to win it. It's a little bit of an English thing in most sports, getting ahead of ourselves somewhat.

"We're on a journey as a team and each time we pull on that shirt it's another step towards that ultimate goal of a home World Cup in front of your own fans.

"That's our main goal. But we'll be focusing on the process in between then and now because it's still two-and-a-half years away, so we've got lots to do before then."

Meanwhile, England flyhalf Owen Farrell, whose recent performances in the white shirt have seen him touted as a starting No.10 for the British and Irish Lions in Australia later this year, was also cautious about a repetition of the Red Rose brigade's 2003 World Cup triumph.

"The World Cup is a long way away," he said. "There's obviously loads of rugby to be played before then but that's when everyone wants to peak and that's what we want to build towards.

"As long as we keep going in the right direction, we'll be in good stead."

This week's rugby headlines in Britain have been dominated by the fall-out from Lions coach Warren Gatland's interview with the London Evening Standard where the New Zealander suggested he'd limit the number of England players in his squad.

Gatland, on secondment from his role as Wales coach, appeared to suggest an excess of England players in his party could lead to a media circus.

However, former Ireland and Wasps boss Gatland, both in the Standard article and subsequently, has insisted this Lions team will be picked solely on merit.

It was a point he stressed again during a pre-arranged meeting with Lancaster and the England squad earlier this week.

Marler said the general reaction within the England camp to Gatland's comments was one of amusement rather than anger.

"We had a bit of a giggle," he said. "I think he came out and said he was misquoted or something but for the boys, it's irrelevant."

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0
France 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0