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foden: start with a bang or forget it.


BEN FODEN, the England player France most fear, has told his team-mates it's time to shape up or ship out.

Foden scored all his country's tries in their last two meetings with the French, but has yet to hit anything like top form in New Zealand.

Ahead of Saturday's quarterfinal, the full-back admits it is now or never for him and England to raise their game.

Foden said: "It's time to step it up. If we are to believe we can win a World Cup, we've got to step up a level.

"To beat the big guns, we have to perform for 80 minutes - not wait for a wake-up call, as we did against Scotland."

England have circled the wagons this week in response to a barrage of criticism over certain players' off-field behaviour.

But Foden (right) says a defensive mindset is no good on the field if they are to beat France and book a semi-final clash against the winners of Wales and Ireland.

"The French have players capable of causing carnage, so it's important we really start the game with a bang and score some points in the first 20 minutes," he said.

"No matter what's going on off the field, it's 15 versus 15 and if we don't turn up, I'm pretty sure the French will take their chance."

England have been notoriously slow starters. In their two big pool games, they trailed Argentina 9-3 after 67 minutes and Scotland 12-3 after 56. Overnight, England were expected to name a starting line-up with just one change from the side that beat Scotland.

With Jonny Wilkinson completing an astonishing recovery from what 48 hours ago appeared to be a serious elbow injury, the sole switch sees Mark Cueto return for the suspended Delon Armitage. ENGLAND (probable): B Foden, C Ashton, M Tuilagi, M Tindall, M Cueto, J Wilkinson, B Youngs, M Stevens, S Thompson, D Cole, L Deacon, C Lawes, T Croft, L Moody, Haskell.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUE
Date:Oct 6, 2011

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