Beppu - England flanks Tom Curry and Sam Underhill are relishing the "surreal" challenge of facing Australia's celebrated back-row duo of David Pocock and Michael Hooper in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

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Dubbed the "kamikaze kids" by England coach Eddie Jones because of their all-action style, the pair will be central to his side's hopes of combating the Wallabies' proven 'Pooper' pairing at the breakdown in Oita on Saturday.

"It's something we're very much looking forward to," Underhill told reporters at England's hotel on Thursday after Jones named his side.

"You want to challenge yourself against the best in the world and it's fair to say they (Pocock and Wallaby captain Hooper) are two world-class openside (flankers).

"They're players who Tom and I when we were growing up and coming through looked at and inspired to be like, so it's a bit surreal to be coming up against them now," the 23-year-old Underhill added.

"Technically they are both very good over the ball. Pocock is probably the best in the world in terms of how strong he is, and his body position. On top of that they have good timing.

"I think timing is probably the most important of the two. In a way they are kind of a victim of their own success. You can see how much emphasis teams put on negating players who are good at the breakdown now, and how much of a team effort it is.

"That's the biggest change - it's not just a thing for the forwards to focus on, or for Tom and I to focus on, it's a team wide thing, because you don't know who is going to be at the breakdown at any given time," he added.

Meanwhile Curry, 21, said of the fashion for playing two specialist openside flankers, rather than a blindside expert: "Especially in this World Cup, you see how influential the breakdown is in terms of the platform to develop momentum in attack."

England's back-row is completed by powerhouse number eight Billy Vunipola and Curry said: "Building that 'three' is massive. People are filling in for each other in certain areas. A lot it is about the relationship between all three players and what they bring in terms of attributes."

Meanwhile, Jones said the breakdown would be a "great contest".

Jones, the coach of his native Australia when they lost the 2003 World Cup final to England, added: "Pocock has probably over the last 10 years, been the foremost number seven in the world.

"Hooper is a massively important player for Australia, he's a link player, takes the ball forward a lot once they get inside the opposition's 22.

"He's obviously a key leader for the team but our two young boys (Curry and Underhill) are just getting better every game.

"Curry's has improved his lineout jumping immensely over the last six or eight weeks, Underhill's probably the most combative seven (openside flank) I've seen for a long time."



15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (captain), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola

Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Dan Cole, 19 George Kruis, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 George Ford, 23 Jonathan Joseph


15 Kurtley Beale; 14 Reece Hodge, 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete; 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Will Genia; 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Michael Hooper (capt), 6 David Pocock; 5 Rory Arnold, 4 Izack Rodda; 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Scott Sio

Substitutes: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 James Slipper, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Adam Coleman, 20 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 21 Nic White, 22 Matt To'omua, 23 James O'Connor