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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 October 2007, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Vickery banks on World Cup repeat
Phil Vickery
Vickery admits the team have struggled to impress so far
England captain Phil Vickery says the way the team have built momentum during the tournament means they can stage a repeat of their 2003 World Cup triumph.

"Last time it probably wasn't until the semi-final that we turned in a half-decent performance," he said.

"Performances have been disappointing, we can't get away from it but if you look at the squad we've got some very talented players.

"It's up to us show people and to prove to ourselves that we can do it."

Four years ago, Sir Clive Woodward's England won their pool but were pushed all the way by Wales in the quarter-final before winning 28-17.

That set up a semi-final against France, where Jonny Wilkinson scored all England's points in their 24-7 victory, before the famous extra-time win in the final over Australia.

This year, England struggled to convince in the pool stage, before a hugely morale-boosting win over Australia in the quarter-finals.

But Vickery said that result would be rendered meaningless unless they followed it up properly on Saturday, against the hosts in their home stadium, the Stade de France.

"We enjoyed the Australia result but ultimately we don't want to go out this week," he said.

"This is a huge game for us and we've got to do it under the most severe of pressure."

Both England and France have named unchanged teams for the semi-final showdown.



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