England cannot afford to ‘sleepwalk’ into Chile game, warns Ollie Chessum

Lock Ollie Chessum has warned that England cannot afford to “sleepwalk” into their next Rugby World Cup pool game against Chile.

After two games in the south of France, England will make a shorter journey from their training base at Le Touquet across the north of the country to Lille for their third Pool D game on Saturday.

World Cup debutants Chile are on paper the weakest of the five nations in the pool, but the South Americans have caused problems for Japan and Samoa in their first two games in France.

Outsiders Uruguay and Portugal also impressed in the second weekend, pushing France and Wales closer than expected.

England are expected to announce the changes for the game but Chessum warned that Steve Borthwick’s side risk being “exposed” if they don’t get their preparation and attitude right for the game.

“If you sleepwalk into games or anything in this World Cup, you will be caught and exposed,” Chessum said.

“We have seen from the games of the last few weeks that there are no major differences between the teams. The second tier nations took some of the best teams to the end.

“The France-Uruguay game was one of those – if you sleepwalk through a game in this tournament you will be exposed. We will train at full speed and give everything we can to bring the game to Chile.”

Borthwick is likely to consider options in his squad for the game, with Marcus Smith understood to be under consideration to start at full-back and Owen Farrell expected to return to the side following his suspension.

Billy Vunipola, number eight, could also start since he was on the bench in the win against Japan.

Chessum battled back from a serious ankle injury sustained during the Six Nations and was included in the England squad for that tournament. The 23-year-old returned to action following the warm-up defeat to Ireland.

Although Borthwick is likely to rest some of his regular players, Leicester’s second row confirmed he was hoping to feature.

“You want to put your hand up to play every chance you get,” Chessum said. “I haven’t played much rugby at all in the last six months so I want to keep playing. It’s not me, it’s the coaches, so I’ll hold my hand up in training this week and it’s up to them, the selection process.

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing emma@ustimespost.com.

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