Argentina eye England upset at World Cup

Argentina finished in third place in the 2007 Rugby World Cup after beating Pool opponents Ireland and France and have now targeted England and to a lesser degree Scotland in their 2011 Pool.

Argentina start their 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign on September the 10th in Pool B against England and captain Felipe Contepomi is hoping things fall into place for 80 minutes.

“(To win) will take (for) us to be in our best game of the last four years and probably them (to play) one of their worst,” said Contepomi.

“They are better than us before the game, they will be better than us after the game but those 80 minutes is the only thing that counts and hopefully we can be competitive in those 80 minutes and have a good game,” the 34-year-old told Reuters.

Contepomi will be playing in his fourth Rugby World Cup and says the Pool Argentina have in 2011 is as tough as their 2007 Pool where they beat France in the opening match.

“Going into the last World Cup, the group couldn’t have been tougher. Now speaking retrospectively, we won that group so, yes, I would say this group is tougher.”

After playing England the Pumas have Pool matches with Romania, Scotland and Georgia who they were also pooled with in 2007.

“All the teams have improved a lot and especially those teams,” he said.

“Scotland have moved forward hugely in the last two to three years, they have one of the best coaches in the world, at least in my opinion, and Georgia and Romania have so many players in the Top 14 (championship) in France.

“Georgia came very close to upsetting Ireland in the last World Cup and I’m sure their main objective is to upset England, Scotland or Argentina in the pool stage.”

Another veteran from the 2007 Argentina world cup squad is hooker Mario Ledesma who says the Pumas have overcome a difficult period of adaptation as new players have come in and old players left.

“We’re good, I’m reminded quite a bit of (going into) the last World Cup,” the 38-year-old said.

“I hope that when we get (to New Zealand) the team can redouble (their efforts) and explode in the match against England.”

Ledesma said that Argentina have traditionally drawn strength from playing in their colours to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.

“The possibility we have to play in this shirt, I’m not sure many teams have that sentiment… The only difference in our favour, I think, is that one so we’ll have to make it count.”

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