Rugby World Cup 2015: Pressure on England, says Jonah Lomu

By Rob StevensBBC Sport
England captain Chris Robshaw
Chris Robshaw will lead England out against Fiji on Friday evening
Rugby World Cup
Hosts: England Dates: 18 September-31 October
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra, BBC local radio, plus live text commentary on every match on the BBC Sport website.
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Former New Zealand wing Jonah Lomu, the all-time leading try scorer in World Cup history, believes England will have to deal with more expectation than the All Blacks during the World Cup.

New Zealand are bidding to retain the trophy while England, the hosts, face Australia and Wales in the pool stages.

"There is going to be a lot of pressure on New Zealand but the majority of it is on England," Lomu told BBC Sport.

"It's their home tournament - they are playing in front of their own fans."

England 'must control emotions'

Potential stars of the Rugby World Cup

England, who are looking to win the Webb Ellis Trophy for the first time since 2003, kick off the tournament against Fiji on Friday at Twickenham.

Lomu believes Stuart Lancaster's side should embrace the challenge of facing the Wallabies and Wales, who are both in the World Rugby rankings' top five.

"You come to the World Cup to play against the best of the best," said the 40-year-old.

"England need to play their game. If they can control their emotions and play to their ability, they should be there or thereabouts in terms of winning the pool.

"But the beauty about World Cups is that you get surprises.

"In 2011 it was Tonga knocking over France. Anything can happen."

Jonah Lomu takes part in a haka in Covent Garden ahead of the World Cup
Lomu, centre, took part in a haka in central London on Wednesday in a publicity stunt ahead of the World Cup

On the chances of a McCaw swansong

New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw, the most capped player in Test history, could announce his retirement after the tournament.

"No-one has ever won it back-to-back and the All Blacks will be trying to do it, but there are six or seven teams who can knock each other over," said Lomu.

"They have to make sure they have prepared well.

"It would be immense for Richie [to win the trophy] as he has got a very impressive record.

"He is leading his team and making sure he keeps his mind in the game, and not worry about when he should retire or when he shouldn't."

Lomu 'not worried' by Habana

Bryan Habana
Bryan Habana has scored 10 tries at the World Cup - eight in 2007 and two in 2011

South Africa winger Bryan Habana is five tries short of Lomu's all-time World Cup record of 15. But Lomu is not concerned about the Springboks star surpassing him.

Habana needs just one more score to become the fourth man to score 60 tries at Test level.

"I'm not worried about it," he said. "When I set the record, I did it in two World Cups and he's coming into his third - that's the difference.

"But Bryan is a great player. You can't take anything away from him as he has represented South Africa for a number of years and done something amazing."

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