Rugby World Cup 2011: Corry warns England about Argentina

Rugby World Cup Pool B: Argentina v England

Otago Stadium, Dunedin
Saturday 10 September
0930 BST
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Martin Corry
Corry helped England reach the World Cup final in 2007

Former England captain Martin Corry has warned manager Martin Johnson that his side cannot afford to underestimate the threat of Argentina.

England meet the Pumas on Saturday and, while Corry anticipates a testing match, he believes it is better to face them early in the competition.

"They will look to feed off England's mistakes," Corry said.

"They will get better as the tournament progresses and that means that this is a good time to play them."

England are attempting to become the first team to reach three consecutive World Cup finals.

And they will start as favourites against a side comfortably beaten in their only Test outing of the summer.

Corry added: "A lot of what they do comes from what their forwards can generate and what they can spoil. Both with and without the ball.

"That means there will need to be a lot of pick and drives from England. It will not be pretty but it's all about opening up with a win."

Santiago Phelan's side will be without the talents of star fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez, who misses the tournament through injury, but Corry pointed out that few gave the South Americans a chance in France four years ago, when they finished third.

"They are a tough side but Argentina's style of play has not changed much since 2007, and they have not played much rugby, but people underestimated them in France and look what happened," he commented.

England have had an inconsistent build-up to the World Cup, losing to Wales in Cardiff before blowing Ireland away in Dublin.

That form has led to some fairly pessimistic predictions of what they can achieve in New Zealand, but Corry said little can be read into the August Tests and that England have nothing to fear after securing a Six Nations title and two wins over Australia in just over a year.

"I think England have been inconsistent, so there is not a huge amount of confidence," he said. "But England have been very good at times and in the last 12 months they have beaten everyone in their side of the draw.

"There is no-one who should scare them. They have beaten France and Australia, so if you are optimistic you can see them getting to the final, but a pessimist may say they will not get beyond the quarter-finals."

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