Corry's Mike stand

Tindall and Tuilagi are my pick, says ex-England captain

Last Updated: 21/09/11 3:07pm

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Despite controversy off the pitch, World Cup-winning No 8 Martin Corry believes Mike Tindall is the man to partner Manu Tuilagi in the centres should England make the latter stages of the competition.

"You can't realise from thousands of miles away what a pressurised environment it is. They are living, sleeping and breathing rugby and every so often you've got to let your hair down."
Martin Corry Quotes of the week

Martin Johnson's side have stuttered to unconvincing victories over Argentina and Georgia - 13-10 and 41-10 respectively - and play their penultimate Pool B game against Romania on Saturday with Tindall set to return.

With Shontayne Hape snatching the headlines from the win over Georgia with a brace of tries, Tindall's place is inevitably under pressure.

But Corry told Sky Sports News: "I think what they're looking at is a little bit of stability there and with Manu Tuilagi and Tindall there, they're starting to get a little bit of stability in that combination.

"When you look at it, what you want is consistency of selection and you want to start building partnerships. They've shown already in glimpses that they can be a real force to be reckoned with.

"They're not playing well and (fly-half) Toby Flood has come out and said that, but you can look at as a positive that they're not playing well yet they're still winning and in contention to top the group.

"They've still got a lot of work to do. Hopefully now with Romania they'll still have the opportunity to iron out a few of the creases they've got. Then we can look forward to Scotland and hopefully the knockout stages."

Trust

Corry also backed Johnson's decision to allow the players freedom within the tournament itinerary - a move criticised in some quarters after members of the squad were photographed during a night on the town.

Some have also suggested that the back injury suffered by No 8 Nick Easter was caused by a bungee jumping trip several players took while on a day off - but Corry insists that trust between the manager and the squad is healthy and that the line was not crossed.

He said: "I think what Johnson has done and the way he's handled it has been perfect. You've got to put trust in the players and it's up to the players to perform. If the players are given that freedom and they don't perform then they don't get picked.

"You can't realise from thousands of miles away what a pressurised environment it is. They are living, sleeping and breathing rugby and every so often you've got to let your hair down.

"The players have called meetings, and I think what it shows is them taking ownership. The coaches can say what they like but ultimately it's down to the 15 players on the field when it comes to match day, so they need to be taking ownership.

"By having these meetings they know things aren't going right, which is important. They're not just happy to sit back on their couple of wins - they know they've got to change and they're doing something about it. It's good for the squad."

Breakdown

Although the 41-10 scoreline against Georgia seemed comfortable, England struggled to win ball at the breakdown without conceding penalties.

With ill-discipline likely to be punished properly by a more assured goal-kicker, Corry believes England can find a solution to compete at the ruck without surrendering cheap points.

He added: "It's dangerous when it does cause frustration because that can lead to more penalties, but I think it is something that can be put right and we're not the only side that have been suffering with a lack of discipline.

"It's a question of learning how the referees are interpreting the breakdown. They're being very strict on that and on the offsides and rightly so. Once you suss out what the refs are doing and what they're looking for then you can work with that.

"We've had a couple of days to get that bedded in and hopefully we can learn from those. I expect to see a more disciplined performance."

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