Catt : England can match Australia on attack

England Attack coach Mike Catt is confident of England's attacking skills

Attack coach Mike Catt says that England can match Australia’s attacking threat when the teams meet in a do-or-die Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham on Saturday.

England lost 25-28 to Wales on Saturday and must beat Australia to stay in contention for the play-offs as only two teams can progress from the Pool of Death.

England’s Pool is the most difficult pool in world cup history as it features three of the world’s top five teams and one will not reach the quarter finals.

A loss would see England become the first World cup hosts to exit the tournament before the knockout stages.

The intensity of Pool A has also brought about an unusually high number of injuries and England are sweating on the fitness of gifted centre Jonathan Joseph who missed the match against Wales with a chest injury.

England have beaten Australia in their last two meetings, both at Twickenham, on the back of a powerful set-piece effort by their forwards which has ended up trumping the work of an impressive Wallaby back division.

“Whoever we decide to select or whoever is fit, we have total belief we can go and score tries against teams,” said England’s attacking skills coach Catt.

“Australia love an open game, but we are also capable of scoring tries.”

Catt, a member of the England squad that won the 2003 World Cup by beating Australia in the final in Sydney, was well aware of the threat posed behind the Wallaby scrum by the likes of half-backs Will Genia and Bernard Foley, centre Matt Giteau and dynamic full-back Israel Folau.

“They are exceptionally talented,” said former utility back Catt.

“They are very, very good when you give them time and space and let them have the front foot ball from their pack of forwards. So they are very dangerous so it’s trying to nullify those aspects.

“It’s also about the way you play. We have to make sure they don’t get the ball as much as they normally do to create what they can create.”

And with Australia’s pack playing a key role in helping them win this year’s southern hemisphere Rugby Championship, Catt added: “Australia have come on leaps and bounds with their scrum and set-piece. They are a massively dangerous side.”

England scored just one try against Wales but managed seven in one match alone during this year’s Six Nations, although their final day 55-35 win over France was not enough to take the title away from Ireland on points difference.

“Let’s not take away from what we’ve achieved in the Six Nations and how capable we are of scoring tries,” said Catt.

“There’s a massive belief that we’ll go out and play. That belief has been there for the last three of four months.

“I’m massively excited about how the game is going to turn out.”

As for Joseph who in the 10 minutes of England ‘open’ training later Tuesday was kept off the practice ground at England’s Penyhill Park base in Bagshot and away from the prying eyes of the media, Catt said: “Jonathan walked through this morning with us and is due to train this afternoon.

“We’ll see if he plays a full part.”

Meanwhile No 8 Ben Morgan is fit to face Australia following a knee problem, but scrum-half Ben Youngs and lock Courtney Lawes may not recover in time from their respective ankle and knee injuries.

England are expected to name their team on Thursday.

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