FORGET THE flair, England star Ben Foden is prepared to adopt a win at all costs game plan if it delivers World Cup glory.
The England full-back is five days away from his World Cup debut, against Argentina, in Dunedin. And he doesn’t mind if Martin Johnson’s side win 3-0…as long as they win.
“If I have to sit on the wing with my hands in my pocket for the whole competition but we win it and bring back the silverware I’ll happily take that,” said Foden.
“Sometimes you have to win ugly, they don’t remember how you won it only the scoreline.
“But I want to get my hands on the ball and be involved. We can tear teams apart out wide, but sometimes you have just got to stick it up your jumper.”
Foden believes England’s attempts to make a record-breaking third success final will be based around their pack.
“The forwards in the last few games have shown that we have got a great scrum and a great lineout, and they are key for any team going to a World Cup because that’s where you get your bases from.”
Foden isn’t surprised by the amazing rise of Manu Tuilagi, who has gone from a player trying to make the Leicester first team to an England regular in less than a year.
“I saw Manu play throughout the Premiership and thought he is one hell of a player,” said Foden.
“He was only 19 year-olds old then, and now you can see that he is maturing with every game that he plays, apart from that semi-final. He is a talent, an exceptional ball player, not only his size and presence but he had also got feet and good gas as well.
“By having Manu there it will hopefully help hold defences and open up chances for the likes of myself, Delon (Armitage) and Ashy (Chris Ashton).
“Manu gives a bit of space outside him. He has shown maturity, he has come in to the squad and bought into the England way of doing things, he has worked exceptionally hard, everyone was umming and ahhing whether he would go, but by the end of the camp and warm up games there was no doubt he would be going because he gave us that extra option. He will just get better and better, he is still only 20.
“Manu knows what he can do when he gets the ball. He recognises his strengths and we want to play to that. I have only ever played with him once but hopefully after playing with him a few more times I’ll learn what makes him tick and what he can do for me as a player as well. “And what I do for him as a player as well if we can bounce off each other so much the better.
“He is a fantastic talent who is only going to get better, his whole family are rugby nuts. He has probably been watching them play since he came out of the womb. He wants to play for England and be part of a winning side.”
Foden believes Tuilagi has the all round game to become one of the stars of this World Cup.
“He has got an outside break, he is as strong as a bull, he can crash it up the middle, he’s got it all, and the skill set to go with it as well,” said Foden.
“If they send two players up maybe he can use his slick hands to put us into space and we can do some damage. We need to hold them first and foremost, you need to earn the right to play wide.”