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England pour scorn on spy allegations.

England head coach Andy Robinson has refused to enter a war of words with his All Blacks counterpart Graham Henry ahead of Saturday's much-hyped Twickenham showdown.

Henry lit the fuse for a potentially explosive clash by accusing England of spying on his players during a training session in London on Tuesday.

But Robinson has dismissed those claims, insisting he is totally concentrated on Saturday's game and nothing else.

Two cameramen dressed in camouflage gear were spotted by the All Blacks during the session, and Henry hit out when he named his team just a few hours later.

Robinson, though, is in no mood to let off-pitch distractions divert his focus from England's biggest game since they won the World Cup two years ago.

"I haven't read the Press, so I don't know what has been said, but I categorically say that England are not involved in any way in terms of espionage," Robinson said.

"There wouldn't be anyone undercover from us watching New Zealand train, and the RFU (Rugby Football Union) weren't involved either.

"The allegations have been made, but I totally refute them.

"It is not true, so we move on. There are always games that are played in the Press and things are said, but the game of rugby is going to be won this weekend on the pitch, so that is the key thing for us.

"There are always comments made, and you have coaches winding up other coaches and there are lots of issues. My focus is about what is going to happen on the day.

"The game is not won or lost by the coaches having arguments or winding each other up off the pitch.

"The game is about the players. I have total respect for the New Zealand coaching team but, as I say, this game is going to be won by the players on the pitch."

Robinson has named an unchanged team following the 26-16 victory over Australia last Saturday, with fly-half Charlie Hodgson selected despite having suffered a groin injury.

Hodgson has not trained with the squad this week but he is expected to take part today and tomorrow, with Robinson stating: "He will be fit for Saturday ( we are expecting him to play."

England team to play New Zealand: J Lewsey (Wasps); M Cueto (Sale), J Noon (Newcastle), M Tindall (Gloucester), B Cohen (Northampton); C Hodgson (Sale), M Dawson (Wasps); A Sheridan (Sale), S Thompson (Northampton), P Vickery (Gloucester), S Borthwick (Bath), D Grewcock (Bath), P Sanderson (Worcester), L Moody (Leicester), M Corry (Leicester, capt).

Replacements: L Mears (Bath), M Stevens (Bath), L Deacon (Leicester), C Jones (Sale), H Ellis (Leicester), O Barkley (Bath), M Van Gisbergen (Wasps).
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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 17, 2005
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