Wednesday 21 February 2018

'World Cup seedings will fire pumas'

England head coach Eddie Jones Picture: PA
England head coach Eddie Jones Picture: PA

Eddie Jones reckons Argentina's season-ending assault on England at Twickenham will be inspired by their determination to avoid the World Cup's group of death.

The exhausted Pumas face the challenge of lifting themselves for a final time in a year that has seen the squad complete over 50 long-haul flights due to their Rugby Championship commitments and Jaguares' involvement in Super Rugby.

Today's outcome could have far-reaching repercussions, with Argentina positioned ninth in the global rankings with the potential to climb as high as fifth should they win, thereby placing them among the second seeds when the draw for Japan 2019 is made in Kyoto on May 10.

Defeat at Twickenham, however, could lead to the type of brutal World Cup pool which resulted in England's demise last autumn.

"The World Cup draw is a massive source of motivation for Argentina," warned Jones.

"They've had a very strenuous season but they'll come to Twickenham full of beans and ready to play. They're a proud team and they'll want to put their best foot forward."

Argentina's globe-trotting season has not been confined to the Rugby Championship. Their first match of the autumn was staged in Tokyo, where they emerged 54-20 winners, before immediately travelling to Britain where they have succumbed to defeats at the hands of Wales and Scotland.

Irish Independent

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