Wed 11 Nov 2020 | 07:47

Proudfoot's No.1 concern against Georgia

Proudfoot's No.1 concern against Georgia
Wed 11 Nov 2020 | 07:47
Proudfoot's No.1 concern against Georgia
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NATIONS CUP BUILD-UP: England forwards coach Matt Proudfoot has insisted history will be irrelevant when the Six Nations champions face Georgia in their Nations Cup opener at Twickenham on Saturday.

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The teams have only met twice before, with England enjoying comfortable 84-6 and 41-10 wins at the 2003 and 2011 World Cups respectively.

But Proudfoot, who joined England’s backroom staff after being a member of the South Africa set-up that beat Eddie Jones’ men in the 2019 World Cup final, insisted Wednesday any expectations of an easy win came from outside the Red Rose camp.

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“I don’t know who creates that expectation,” Proudfoot told a conference call.

The Springboks’ World Cup triumph in Japan last year followed their shock loss to Japan at the 2015 edition in England and Proudfoot insisted: “Every Test match is a Test match in its own right… They [Georgia] will be doing everything in their ability to be successful and so will we.

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“As a forwards coach, I understand that this will be an exceptionally tough challenge and we will prepare for that.”

Georgia are renowned for their prowess at the scrum, so much so that Jones has previously invited their forwards to help prepare England’s pack at what have sometimes been fiery training sessions.

“They are very tough, very brutal up front,” said Proudfoot. “We’ve been preparing for that challenge the whole week.”

“I think every opponent has their own specific DNA that they pride themselves on.

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“That’s what they pride themselves on – historically they’ve been an unbelievable scrum. We’ve got experience of that, having trained against them numerous times.

“As a nation, they take pride in it so it’s a thing they use to get into the game, it’s a thing they use to impose themselves into the game and it’s an aspect they use to create pressure.”

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While England will be firm favourites to subdue a Georgia side often starved of major competition outside World Cups and beaten 48-7 by Scotland last month, Proudfoot accepts this may not be the time to give the likes of uncapped Bath prop Beno Obano a Test debut.

“Every player that is selected for England deserves his place because he’s worked for it,” he said.”But I think it could be a tough challenge for a young guy coming in there (the front row).”

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Proudfoot's No.1 concern against Georgia - england | Rugby365