- Title: SOUTH AFRICA: England rugby team hopes to put a positive spin on the Summer tour
- Date: 17th May 2007
- Summary: (BN10) JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, (MAY 16, 2007) (REUTERS) ENGLAND PLAYERS PUSHING TROLLIES WITH LUGGAGE THROUGH THE ARRIVAL LOUNGE ENGLAND CAPTAIN, JASON ROBINSON, PUSHING HIS TROLLEY JONNY WILKINSON PUSHING HIS LUGGAGE AND THEN LOADING IT ONTO A TRUCK ENGLAND UNDER 21 COACH JON CALLARD TALKING ON PHONE / SIGN READING "ENGLAND RUGBY TEAM" BUS WITH ENGLAND RUGBY TEAM DRIVING OFF
- Embargoed: 1st June 2007 13:00
- Location: South Africa
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA38D7NS4QOFGWZ6NQDOQTCD1J7
- Story Text: England rugby tour captain Jason Robinson says they are facing a massive challenge as they prepare to play two tests matches with the Springboks who happen to be in top form. The England squad arrived in South Africa on Wednesday (May 16) for two tests without nearly 30 first-choice players who are either injured or have club commitments.
Even though England came with basically a third-choice team, coach Brian Ashton said the tour would still be a valuable exercise in terms of their preparation for the World Cup in France in September.
"Looking for players to play at the very least to our expectations of them, to perform to the best of their ability, and for some of other players to exceed their expectations we have of them, and by doing that, I hope that one or two players will emerge, and put their hand up that maybe we had not being considering recently for the World Cup training squad which starts at the end of June," Ashton said speaking at the news conference.
The Springboks look set to be at their strongest for years and, with two South African sides through to the final of the Super 14, the game there is on a high.
England tour captain Jason Robinson, who returned from international retirement to play in the Six Nations Championship hopes his side will put a positive spin on the tour.
"For us it is going to be a massive challenge no doubt about it, but for us its exciting there's lots of guys in the squad, that have not been here before, myself I have not been here before, I know its going to be a great atmosphere, we will do what we can in the next ten days, prepare ourselves for two tough test matches. They are a good team , but rugby is all about challenges and thats what we are looking forward to," Robinson said.
England, then under Andy Robinson, and South Africa met twice at Twickenham last November when the Springboks, devoid of a host of leading players, won the second test 25-14 after losing the first 23-21.
The two teams are in the same pool at the Rugby World Cup 2007 which starts on September 7 in France.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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