England dismiss Argentina's 'boring' jibe at World Cup

Tokyo (AFP) –


England's players have hit back at accusations by Argentina that they play "boring" rugby before this weekend's World Cup clash in Tokyo, refusing to get drawn into any mind games.

Earlier this week, Pumas hooker Agustin Creevy tried to get under England's skin in the build-up to the crunch Pool C game, taunting: "They always play the same way -- sometimes it's boring. Saturday is going to be like a war, it's like a final for us."

But Saracens hooker Jamie George hit back on Wednesday.

"I don't think we do play boring rugby," he said. "I'm not overly surprised he's tried to say that, but he's entitled to his opinion.

"Hopefully we'll prove him wrong on Saturday," added George. "I don't think it's very justified and I'm sure he's just trying to rattle us a little bit. He's more than welcome to try."

Flanker Sam Underhill chimed in that there were "no prizes for style -- just trophies", before attack coach Scott Wisemantel also brushed off Creevy's jibe.

"He might have been at a boring club, I don't really know," Wisemantel said of Creevy's two-season spell in the English Premiership with Worcester.

"I don't think that's the case and he obviously hasn't been watching much of the Premiership," added the Australian.

"It's a bit like me making a judgement call on the Jaguares. (England's game) is varied and can be very structured at times -- but in this tournament a third of our tries have come from unstructured play, so I don't necessarily agree."

England have opened with victories over Tonga (35-3) and the United States (45-7) in Japan following a horror 2015 tournament when they became the first World Cup hosts to crash out in the pool stages.

- Appetite for destruction -

Argentina present a tougher challenge before they face France in their final group match, but England could fast-track rampaging prop Mako Vunipola's return to the starting line-up against the Pumas, despite him only playing 17 minutes of rugby in four-and-a-half months.

Vunipola, who had hamstring surgery in May, aborted an attempted return against Ireland in a World Cup tune-up after damaging scar tissue.

However, the 54-cap loosehead prop returned to full training late last week alongside Jack Nowell, giving England coach Eddie Jones a full 31-man squad to pick from.

"He's a huge player for this team and probably been one of our most consistent performers over the last four years," said George.

"It's safe to say he's one of the best front-row forwards in the competition. He's worked incredibly hard off the field to get himself right. We're very excited for him to get out there and show what he can do because we're fully aware of how destructive he is."

Underhill predicted this weekend's game would come down to who dominates the set piece.

"Obviously the maul and scrum are a massive part of Argentina's game," said the Bath flanker.

"It's a threat to nullify but also an opportunity to impose ourselves on the game -- that probably falls under the category of 'boring' rugby but it's an area we look forward to getting stuck into."