Rugby World Cup: England can still dig deep and have a good tournament, says Jason Robinson

England have won three times in nine Tests ahead of their critical Pool D opener against Argentina next week, but Jason Robinson is not writing them off just yet, insisting pre-tournament jitters are nothing new

        Rugby World Cup: England can still dig deep and have a good tournament, says Jason Robinson

Former England fullback Jason Robinson believes Steve Borthwick’s current squad has a lot of work to do in order to overcome their poor form and succeed at the Rugby World Cup.

Former World Cup winner Jason Robinson has insisted England can still have a positive tournament next month despite their disappointing recent form.

A 30-22 defeat by Fiji last weekend was England’s first loss to the Islanders in eight meetings and the first time they have fallen to a current tier-two team.

A poor build-up to the World Cup has seen Borthwick’s team win three times in nine Tests – and with injury and suspension problems to deal with, their critical Pool D opener against Argentina is only a week away.

But Robinson says England were in a similar position coming into the 2007 World Cup and still managed to go all the way to the final, so the 2003 winner is not too downbeat.

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        Rugby World Cup: England can still dig deep and have a good tournament, says Jason Robinson

After a first Test defeat to Fiji, England head coach Steve Borthwick praised the ‘Flying Fijians’ for their dominant performance.

“England are not in the position they’d like to be going into World Cup and they’ve got a lot of work to do,” he told Sky Sports.

“But for me I have to look back to 2007 when we played in the World Cup and we were awful. We went into the World Cup with no form whatsoever. We stumbled through the pool stages, took a good hard look at ourselves and we were backed into a corner, everybody was on our backs.

“We found a way to win in the quarters, then into the semi and then to only lose to South Africa in the final. So I’m hoping that Steve Borthwick and the boys can fight, dig deep and find something.”

While going all the way might be beyond England, Robinson is picking two other members of the Six Nations to challenge for the title.

“I really believe this is going to be one of the most open World Cups there’s ever been and I can’t wait for it to start,” he added. “Having watched South Africa recently, they’ve been so, so good, a very powerful team. I think they are the ones to watch.

“Home team France are going to be up there as well but Ireland have just been in such a good form lately. I hope it goes to a Northern Hemisphere team and I hope England can come out and surprise everybody.”

        Rugby World Cup: England can still dig deep and have a good tournament, says Jason Robinson

Highlights of South Africa’s biggest ever win over New Zealand, as the Springboks thump their southern hemisphere rivals 35-7 at Twickenham.

England fall to joint-lowest world ranking position after Fiji loss

England have dropped from sixth to eighth in the world rankings after their defeat to Fiji – registering their joint-lowest position in the standings’ 20-year history.

Fiji, on the other hand, have climbed from ninth to seventh on the back of their stunning victory at Twickenham while Argentina – England’s main pool rivals in France – are up one place to sixth.

Ireland top the rankings ahead of second-placed South Africa with the two heavyweights’ presence in Pool B alongside fifth-placed Scotland highlighting the most lop-sided draw in the competition’s history.

England are in the easiest group but given their recent run of five defeats in six Tests, their assignments against 12th-placed Samoa and 14th-placed Japan now look like banana skins.

They face Argentina in Marseille on Saturday, September 9 in their World Cup opener.