Eng rugby gutted for footballers

2014-06-20 13:19
Andy Farrell (AFP)

Hamilton - England's underfire rugby squad, under pressure to excel in next year's Rugby World Cup, sent their commiserations to the country's footballers in Brazil on Friday after their loss to Uruguay.

"We're gutted, gutted for them," backs coach Andy Farrell said after England faced an embarrassing early elimination from the Soccer World Cup after earlier going down 2-1 to Italy.

After losing two from two, England now rely on Italy winning their remaining matches and England beating Costa Rica if they are to progress from pool play.

"They've obviously gone there to, and would expect themselves to, win that (Uruguay) game and it's not in their hands now. Hopefully Italy can do us the job."

Farrell acknowledged that an early exit for England would put added pressure on the rugby side to perform when their World Cup is contested in England next year before a home crowd.

"Everyone's going to buy into that Rugby World Cup next year," Farrell said. "The English public, whether it's their number one sport or not, will certainly get behind that."

The England rugby team, meanwhile, are also having an unhappy time away from home, losing the first two Tests against New Zealand and with the odds stacked against them in the third and final Test in Hamilton on Saturday.

England were hoping to gain a psychological edge over the reigning world champions, with one of the stated aims of the tour being to build winning combinations to take into the World Cup.

Read more on:    swc 2014  |  rugby

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