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Premiership Rugby

Your England Hotline questions answered

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

Q1. What is the thing that most worries you most about facing the Welsh this weekend? Adam Stephenson, Milton Keynes

Lewis Moody: I don’t think anything worries you going into a game, however, the Welsh game has improved dramatically over the duration of the tournament which is something we need to watch.

Ben Kay: Losing! (laughter) from my point of view it is the line out that is so crucial, because I am in charge then, so if it goes wrong, I am the one that has to face the music on Monday morning!

Dorian West: That's a difficult question, the Welsh will be full of confidence after their game against New Zealand. If they could have held on for the last twenty minutes they would have had a chance of winning so they will be far more determined this weekend for a win.

Kyran Bracken: Their attack.

Mike Catt: Their passion, they have nothing to lose.

Iain Balshaw: Quite a few things really, the fact that they scored four tries against the All Blacks and to do that against the best team in the world is pretty special. They have got exceptionally good backs, and they are playing well at the moment, they are moving the ball very well and our defence is going to have to be top class. The passion of their team means that it is going to be a huge game.

Matt Dawson: The fact that they played so well against New Zealand as a team last week, they are going to be on a huge high, and the one thing that the Welsh have got is players with huge individual skills and we will certainly have to watch them very carefully.

Q2. What would you improve on in terms of your own personal performance? Ian Cread, Plymouth

LM: Getting hold of the ball a bit more!

BK: Ball carrying.

DW: Hands on the ball more in the loose and be able to attack the opposition line like Balsh!

KB: I think that my form quite good, however, I would like to play more.

MC: Try to get into the starting fifteen!

IB: There is loads that you can do, you never have a perfect game, tackling, passing, kicking just about everything really there are always things that you can tweak.

MD: I have got my own personal skills and just because it is the quarter final of a World Cup it doesn’t change, you are always trying to improve but there are certain aspects of the game which I would like to get a little bit more involved and get more opportunities to run with the ball but these are things that I can’t really force they just happen.

Q3. What would your thoughts be about getting to the tournament final? Emma Stewart-Fox, Hampstead

LM: I think that it would be a massive achievement, I would imagine that I would be very excited as it is the pinnacle of achievement for any player, however, we have to keep our minds on the next game which means facing the Welsh this Sunday.

BK: Nerves! It’s what we have been working towards for a long time, a better question would maybe be what would our feelings be if we won it, which would combine a mass of emotions including pride. It is just the biggest thing that you can achieve as a rugby player.

DW: It is the reason that we are here and we have come here to win, it’s what we have been working to for such a long time.

MC: It is every rugby players dream, from the age of nine to when I was playing third division rugby to where we are now, it would be a dream come true, that is what we are working for and that is what we have been aiming for, for the last four years, and hopefully on the 22nd of November we will be there.

MD: Lets get on with the quarter-finals first!

Q4. How important has the English fan support been to the team? Nigel Thompson, Manchester

LW: The support has been massive especially last weekend and when you enter the stadium seeing so many red and white shirts is a massive boost to the team.

BK: They have been fantastic. They are a lot noisier than at the home internationals, touring parties always are, perhaps they have had a few more drinks. The Barmy Army have been excellent we want them at more games that we play!

DW: They have been fantastic not only here but over the years. It is massively important to see the stands full of all that white when you run onto the pitch.

Q5. Colin Charvis was voted the third most good looking man in Welsh Rugby by the ladies of Wales, do you think that you could beat that if a similar poll was asked of the lasses back home? Laura Welding, South Wales

LW: I highly doubt that I would be able to come third with the likes of Jonny in the team, I don’t think that I would feature too highly! (Laughter)

BK: I don’t think that I have enough hair to be along side Colin, there are far more good looking players with the likes of Jonny, Phil Vickery, Dorian that would be up there before me!

DW: No chance, we’ve got Wilko, Balsh, Lawrence – a team full of show ponies, I am definitely bottom of the list!!

MC: No, you’ve got Phil Vickery, Martin Johnson so there would be no chance!

MD: I certainly wouldn’t be first place, I would be happy with ninth!


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