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Interview: France rugby legend Serge Betsen

9th November 2018

France and Wasps rugby legend Serge Betsen talks to bwin about the big match between England and New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday and is expecting the home side to pull off a shock victory


Q: What are your predictions for England in the Autumn Internationals?
Serge Betsen: I think it’s going to be a very exciting Autumn Internationals for England, with so many good teams coming to Twickenham in such a short space of time. I think England will follow up their win against South Africa by beating Japan and Australia. It’s an exciting time as both a player and a fan. It’s going to be tough because visiting nations are always very motivated to prove they can beat England at Twickenham. It’s probably the biggest away fixture in rugby.

The Autumn Internationals are a big test for the players. It’s their final audition to be part of the Six Nations and they know they’re unlikely to be a part of the World Cup if they don’t make that squad in February. It’s a great opportunity for the players to show what they’re capable of against Southern Hemisphere teams who tend to play a different style. A lot of the decisions for the World Cup in Japan will be based on the performances in the Autumn Internationals.

Q: England have just beaten South Africa at Twickenham. Where did they go wrong in the away Test series?
SB: England didn’t play with momentum in South Africa which means they weren’t effective or clinical in attacking positions. You need to build play consistently otherwise you’re relying on moments of magic to score tries. They had that moment of magic from Cipriani in the final Test, but it was missing until then and I think that’s why England lost the series.

Q: Who will be England’s key men in the upcoming matches?
SB: I think Maro Itoje and Elliot Daly will be England’s best players during the Autumn Internationals, I think they’re capable of making a real difference to the result. Itoji is so crucial to England’s success. He always brings that dynamic and positive presence on the field. Elliot Daly is a rarity in modern rugby because he is so talented and so clinical that he can play in multiple positions. He is a unique asset to England and they’re very difficult to beat with both Itoje and Daly on the field.

Do you think England can beat New Zealand?
SB: England have what it takes to beat New Zealand, but it will be a challenging game for them. I think England should beat New Zealand with the players that they have. I think it is about having a positive and aggressive attitude. England players can’t just sit back and relax because New Zealand player will punish you if you give them time on the ball. I know how difficult that is, but it’s crucial to your chances of winning. New Zealand have earned the right to be recognised as the best team in the world.

I’ll be backing England for the win. I think the northern hemisphere countries have to support our counterparts when playing southern hemisphere countries.

For Serge's further thoughts on the Gallagher Premiership and the new tackle laws, visit the bwin website: https://sports.bwin.com/en/news/other-sports/rugby/serge-betsen-interview

 

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