Rugby World Cup 2011: Johnson demands perfection
England head coach Martin Johnson calls for an improved display against Romania on Saturday
Martin Johnson has demanded a error free performance from his England side ahead of their clash against Romania in Dunedin on Saturday.
The head coach has called on his team to be ruthless against the Romanians, with bonus points and points difference expected to be a crucial factor in deciding which sides emerge from a tight Pool B.
“We need to be relentless,” Johnson said. “If you make the errors we made last week, you give the opposition the ball and territory.
“I thought that when we attacked last week we looked pretty dangerous. We just need to give ourselves the best chance of doing that.
“We’ve got to go out and play at a certain level, whatever the opposition do. We’ve got to set our sights higher than we did last week.”
Johnson is hopeful injured Nick Easter will overcome a back injury to be fit for next weekend’s clash with Scotland but is backing his replacement, James Haskell, to fill his boots at No8 against Romania.
“Nick’s progressing, said Johnson. “We’ll see where we are after Saturday. Nick’s not had this injury before. It’s just one of those where we’re hoping he’s going to be good to go next week.
“All the signs are he will be. He’s desperate to get back and play but we’ll see how it progresses over the next 48 hours.
“He would be a loss but James Haskell is playing very well in that position.”
England: Ben Foden; Chris Ashton, Manu Tuilagi, Mike Tindall, Mark Cueto; Jonny Wilkinson, Ben Youngs; Alex Corbisiero, Steve Thompson, Dan Cole, Louis Deacon, Tom Palmer, Tom Croft , Lewis Moody (captian), James Haskell.
Replacements: Lee Mears, David Wilson, Simon Shaw, Tom Wood, Richard Wigglesworth, Toby Flood, Delon Armitage.
Romania: Florin Adrian Vlaicu, Stefan Eugen Ciuntu, Ionel Cazan, Iulian Dumitras, Adrian Marian Apostol, Marin Danut Dumbrava, Lucian Mihai Sirbu; Nicolae Nere, Bogdan Zebega Suman, Silviu Florea, Valentin Poparlan, Cristian Constantin Petre (captain), Sandu Stelian Burcea, Cosmin Aurel Ratiu, Ovidiu Tonita.
Replacements: Marius Tincu, Paulica Ion, Mihai Macovei, Daniel Gabriel Ianus, Valentin Nicolae Calafeteanu, Csaba Minya Gal, Catalin Marius Nicolae.