England's Dylan Hartley ready for pack battle with Argentina
Dylan Hartley believes the Argentina pack will attempt to 'squeeze the life out' of the England forwards on Saturday.
Last Updated: 08/11/13 12:51pm
Hartley was recalled to the front row for the visit of the Pumas to Twickenham, where he will hook in between Joe Marler and David Wilson.
They face an Argentina side that has built a reputation over several years as fearsome scrummagers and one that is highly physical around the break down.
In the wake of their 54-17 loss to Australia, coach Daniel Hourcade has brought Maximiliano Bustos into the front row for injured prop Juan Figallo while a last-minute change in the match squad means Eusebio Guinazu retains his place in the team as hooker because Worcester's Agustin Creevy withdrew due to injury.
Hartley recognises the extra importance the front-row contest will have this weekend and says the squad have trained well for their second autumn international.
"Argentina will get the ball to the number 8's feet and try to squeeze the life out of you and start marching you backwards resulting in a penalty," said the Northampton captain.
"So it's something we're going to have to be full on and ready for. We're prepared well, David Wilson has been playing so well for Bath, he's in form and due a chance. I'm fully confident in our practice.
"If you look at the hooker (Guinazu), I think he's played as a prop, so having three props in the front row is a bit of a statement.
"It's a huge element to the game, if that goes right for us, it can lead into all areas. The physicality at the break down, the lineout, if the scrum goes well and the mind-sets right there it can flow into the rest of the game.
"They'll be thinking the same as well, scrummaging nations going head-to-head. Twickenham might explode and there'll be no stadium left."
Hartley also had some words of encouragement for his former Northampton team-mate Chris Ashton, who has kept his place on the right wing after in-form Wasps flyer Christian Wade failed a fitness test on a hamstring injury.
Ashton's defending for Australia's try last weekend was openly questioned by coach Stuart Lancaster, who admits the Saracens man has a point to prove.
Hartley, though, is confident the wing will soon be back to his 'world-class' best and does not feel he should be measured solely on his try-scoring capabilities.
"He's always bubbly, I don't think you'll ever take that out of him," he said.
"Just say if you looked at my game and I wasn't hitting my line-outs and I wasn't scrummaging very well people would look at my game and say well 'you're a hooker you should be doing that'.
"I think as soon as you look at a winger you look at Chris Ashton and say 'you're not scoring tries'.
"I think if you look at a lot of other areas in his game he's very strong at. He is world class and I have no doubt about him.
"He'll be touching down pretty soon, if that's how you want to judge him but I think his all-round game is fantastic."
Watch England take on Argentina live on Sky Sports 2 and Sky 3D, coverage starts at 1.30pm on Saturday