WAL AUS 18 - 21

Shaw locks in on Romania

Shaw locks in on Romania

Simon Shaw: Bring on Romania

Veteran lock Simon Shaw believes Romania represent the “perfect” opponents for England as they bid to raise their game at the World Cup.

England, aiming for a third straight World Cup final appearance, are well-placed in Pool B after wins over Argentina and Georgia in their first two matches of the tournament.

But both fixtures have been notable for the way England have fallen foul of the referee, with Martin Johnson’s men conceding 11 penalties alone in the first half of Sunday’s 41-10 win against Georgia.

England conclude their Pool campaign against old rivals Scotland in Auckland next weekend.

But Shaw denied suggestions facing the Scots this Saturday would sharpen up England’s game, saying playing Romania in Dunedin’s Otago Stadium would be ideal for the squad.

“I think it’s the perfect game to have, they are going to be a lot like the Georgians, tough up front,” said Shaw.

“There will be opportunities to score tries and it will be a test of our patience and composure to put those tries away.

“Everyone was expecting a bit more free-flowing rugby but it was never going the be the case against these first three opponents.”

Shaw, summoned to Australia as a replacement player for England’s victorious 2003 World Cup campaign and a member of the side that lost to the Springboks in the final four years ago, said now was not the time for the squad to hit top-form.

“It’s not all about winning the World Cup today.”

At the age of 38, Shaw - released by Wasps before the start of the present Aviva Premiership season and currently without a club - is the oldest player in England’s World Cup squad.

“A lot of people make more of it than I ever do,” Shaw said.

“I wouldn’t say I’m Peter Pan but I don’t feel it that much. I was training Monday with everyone else, it’s not an issue.”

The build-up to the Georgia match was overshadowed by the furore caused by the squad’s night out drinking in Queenstown, that led to video footage of centre Mike Tindall and an unidentified blonde being posted on the internet.

Shaw bemoaned the surveilance players were now subjected to as a result of some fans with cameras in mobile phones and others, such as the Queenstown bouncer who posted the images of Tindall, wanting “to make a buck”.

“It does sadden me, but that’s just the way it is,” said Shaw.

“What I have always loved about rugby, and what the spectators have always loved, is the fact they can gain access to players.

“The more this continues, the less and less access the supporters will have to players because players will just hide away.”

Both England and Romania are due to name their teams for Saturday’s match on Thursday.

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Poll

Who will win the English Premier League?

All times are local:
"NZST = GMT +13 ; BST +12 ; CEST/SAST +11
9th September TongaNew Zealand41-10
10th September RomaniaScotland34-24
NamibiaFiji49-25
JapanFrance47-21
EnglandArgentina9-13
11th September ItalyAustralia32-6
USAIreland22-10
WalesSouth Africa17-16
14th September NamibiaSamoa49-12
CanadaTonga20-25
GeorgiaScotland15-6
15th September USARussia6-13
16th September JapanNew Zealand83-7
17th September RomaniaArgentina43-8
FijiSouth Africa49-3
IrelandAustralia6-15
18th September SamoaWales17-10
GeorgiaEngland41-10
CanadaFrance46-19
20th September RussiaItaly53-17
21st September JapanTonga31-18
22nd September NamibiaSouth Africa87-0
23rd September USAAustralia67-5
24th September RomaniaEngland67-3
FranceNew Zealand37-17
25th September SamoaFiji7-27
RussiaIreland62-12
ScotlandArgentina13-12
26th September NamibiaWales81-7
27th September JapanCanada23-23
USAItaly27-10
28th September RomaniaGeorgia25-9
30th September SamoaSouth Africa13-5
1st October RussiaAustralia68-22
TongaFrance14-19
ScotlandEngland16-12
2nd October GeorgiaArgentina25-7
CanadaNew Zealand79-15
FijiWales66-0
ItalyIreland36-6
8th October WalesIreland10-22
FranceEngland12-19
9th October AustraliaSouth Africa9-11
ArgentinaNew Zealand33-10
15th October FranceWales8-9
16th October New ZealandAustralia6-20
21st October AustraliaWales18-21
23rd October New ZealandFrance7-8
Pool A
Pos Team P Pts
1 New Zealand 4 20
2 France 4 11
3 Tonga 4 9
4 Canada 4 6
5 Japan 4 2

Pool B
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 4 18
2 Argentina 4 14
3 Scotland 4 11
4 Georgia 4 4
5 Romania 4 0

Pool C
Pos Team P Pts
1 Ireland 4 17
2 Australia 4 15
3 Italy 4 10
4 USA 4 4
5 Russia 4 1

Pool D
Pos Team P Pts
1 South Africa 4 18
2 Wales 4 15
3 Samoa 4 10
4 Fiji 4 5
5 Namibia 4 0

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