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Ugo Monye issues warning to rest of the world not to write England off

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Tuesday Jul 18, 2023

Ugo Monye has been speaking to TNT Sports ahead of this year’s World Cup and has been making some rather thought-provoking points about England’s chances ahead of the competition.

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With 14 caps for England, 2 test match caps for the British and Irish Lions, and almost 250 caps for Harlequins, Monye is arguably in as good a position to argue England’s case as anyone. Now working as a pundit for a multitude of media organisations, Monye has become one of the go-to voices for English rugby today, whether that be making comments on the state of the England team today, the Premiership, or even the grassroots environment.

ugo monye

Speaking about England’s chances at the World Cup, Monye had the following to say: “I’m confident about England. And people will ask the question why. [It was] a poor Six Nations by their standards, but I think one of the most significant things in sports is pressure and there doesn’t seem to be any pressure [on England].

I think if you ask anyone ‘who do you think will win the World Cup’,” Monye continued, “you go ‘well Ireland [are the] number one side in the world, you’ve got France, the number two side in the world, and they’re hosting it. South Africa [are] demolishing teams in the Rugby Championship, [and] New Zealand are a pretty good outfit. You probably list four or five other countries before you even get to England”.

It was the talk about these Tier 1 nations that are coming into the tournament as favourites that led Monye onto his next point, that very few are likely to meet England on the way to the final.

“Argentina [is a] pivotal match for them [on] September the 9th in Marseille, [if] they win that you expect them to be in the quarterfinals cause they’ve got Japan and Chile and all of a sudden you’re three matches away from winning it. So their route to trying to achieve what I think they can achieve is significantly more straightforward than some other teams.”

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Building on the luck of the draw, the former Harlequins player was keen to emphasise the impact that England coach Steve Borthwick could have on the squad now that he’s had an extended amount of time with his players.

Steve Borthwick ugo monye England argentina

“I think the quality of the squad that they’ve got Steve Borthwick has been able to bring together a coaching staff which is truly his. Richard Wigglesworth, Alan Walters already joining Kevin Sinfield, that’s gonna be great and I think the most significant factors actually just time.

“He [Borthwick] had 11 days to get his team ready for the Six Nations, he’ll have had the best part of three months now, and I know everyone will have the same, but for him to implement and embed the style of rugby that it wants to play and get everyone massively cohesive and just understanding who they are and how they want to approach it.

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“I think, most people might want to write them off at this stage, I just wouldn’t” he said before adding “absolutely not.”

Whilst many believe that England will struggle should them meet a top four side in the latter stages of the competition, there’s no denying that England, with 3 World Cup finals under their belt already, are capable of a giant killing.

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