Corry calls for England brawn

Martin Corry has predicted "direct and physical" early exchanges when England and Samoa fight for their World Cup lives in Nantes on Saturday. [more]

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Martin Corry has predicted "direct and physical" early exchanges when England and Samoa fight for their World Cup lives in Nantes on Saturday.

Both teams are on the rebound from their worst performances in World Cup history – facts readily acknowledged by rival coaches Brian Ashton and Michael Jones.

If Samoa lose at the Stade de la Beaujoire, they will crash out of World Cup contention, with England then heading towards a pool stage eliminator against Tonga next Friday.

Should England suffer another embarrassing defeat though, Samoa could send them home ludicrously early by claiming a bonus point triumph over the United States in five days’ time.

No reigning rugby world champion has failed to reach the tournament knockout stage, but England have shown nothing so far to suggest that humiliating fate won’t befall them.

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Skipper Corry said: "We haven’t needed extra motivation.

"There is a determination to put things right. We are playing well below our best.

"You just have to look at what is riding on this game for both sides.

"You look at the way Samoa played in the first 50 minutes against South Africa. They put their absolute all into it, and they will put their absolute all into tomorrow.

"The first 10 minutes of every Test match is very physical, and this, I imagine, will be even more direct and physical."

Samoa are still reeling from a dismal display in losing 19-15 to Tonga, although its level of incompetence hardly challenged England’s 36-0 surrender to South Africa – their record World Cup defeat – two days earlier.

Corry added: "It is one thing being associated with one performance like that – you don’t want to make it two. We have been very critical of ourselves.

"Everyone in this camp, whether you are playing, on the bench, not involved, coaching or doing the kit, wants to be associated with a successful World Cup campaign."

Those hopes now hinge on beating a nation even England’s World Cup winners struggled to despatch in Melbourne four years ago.

And with Samoa recalling fit-again Brian "The Chiropractor" Lima in midfield, a reshaped England side know exactly what is coming at them.

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