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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 October 2007, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Josh Lewsey Q&A
Josh Lewsey
Josh Lewsey
England back and 2003 World Cup winner

Josh Lewsey, who has played in every England game in their run to the last four of the World Cup, lines up on the wing for Saturday's semi-final against France.

He took some time out of his preparations for the massive match in Paris to answer some of the questions you have been sending in for him.

Q: Are we getting carried away with this one result? Are England capable of beating anyone or is this result a flash in the pan? Keep the flag flying for England.
Phil, 18, England

A: A cynic could quite easily say that it was a flash in the pan, a one-off performance against Australia - but it doesn't matter, it's knock-out rugby.

Josh Lewsey
Josh was part of England's famous win over the Wallabies last week

You can draw your own conclusions about how the team is doing and how good they are, it doesn't really matter as long as we win. Knock-out rugby is about applying pressure and turning that into points.

France are still the firm favourites this weekend. They have a nice blend and are the most complete French team I have seen.

They have weaved together power, astuteness, individual ability and also a maturity in terms of their decision making.

They are strong favourites but hopefully we can surprise a few people again.

France play a form of rugby that does not allow an opposition to put them under much pressure. There are not many chinks in the armour. On top of that they have that Gallic flair, if needed.

Saturday will be a game of pressure rugby. They are a very good side in applying that sort of pressure and they have a settled team - it really is a well-oiled unit.

The atmosphere at the Stade de France will be fantastic. Semi-finals of the World Cup do not come around every day, you have to embrace the moment.

Q: I am an ex-pat who lives in New Zealand. I was up at 2am watching the game and thrilled to see the team galvanised into an effective unit. What has brought about the transformation?
Tim Clack, 45, New Zealand

South Africa celebrate a try against England earlier in the tournament
A lot has changed for England since the South Africa game

A: The first thing was knowing we had to deliver.

Secondly, week in, week out since the South Africa game we have gradually improved our performances and concentrated on putting in the detail that makes people understand their roles.

If you add to that emotion, pride and passion, then you can come up with a special performance. The challenge for us is doing it again this weekend.

Winning and losing is part of sport but what we can't do is have any regrets. We can't hold anything back. If we can do that and make the country proud, that is all people care about. Hopefully we can turn France over and win the game as well.

Q: After seeing Australia's forwards cracking under the pressure in Marseille, I was wondering if you can recall ever seeing the English pack overwhelm the opposition to such an extent?
Jez, London

A: In some games, yes, but not against such quality opposition.

The last time the scrum did that was against Australia at Twickenham a couple of years back. We are cute enough to know that we will not have the same superiority against France.

They are a very cohesive unit and they are pretty formidable themselves. I am sure there will be a lot more parity in that department this weekend.

Q: What happens the night before a match? Do you have a routine you always go through to prepare yourself for the next day?
Dave

A: We always have a high carbohydrate meal the night before the game. For me, it's a case of keeping your mind switched off from rugby and not getting too geed up too early.

The day before it is really important to be as relaxed as possible and try and get your body right. I end up reading quite a lot.

Q: Hi Josh, I'm English but live in New Zealand and it is fair to say there are quite a few disappointed faces here after the loss to France.

With the England team being regarded as underdogs by everyone as opposed to the previous World Cup, would you say that being an underdog relieves some pressure and allows you to do your own thing?
Joseph Izzard, 16, New Zealand

A: It does relieve some of the pressure. Most expectations are that France will beat us this weekend and rightfully so if you just look at previous performances and results against them over the last three years.

It's nice to be written off and hopefully we can come off the rails again and cause a few surprises.

Q: How do you fancy a try at club rugby in France if you enjoyed the World Cup here? Not enough British players have taken the step.
Glyn from the Alps

Stade Francais star Juan Martin Hernandez in action against Toulouse
Stade Francais and Toulouse are home to some of the world's top players

A: The choice of where you play is not just about the rugby, it's a life choice as well. My contract with Wasps expires at the end of the season and I have to look at my options.

I have not ruled anything out yet. French rugby is very strong and some of their top clubs are some of the biggest clubs in Europe - not just in terms of the way they play rugby but also off the field with how they are run commercially.

Certainly the likes of Toulouse and Stade Francais are becoming big commercial entities and maybe some of the Premiership clubs could learn from that.

Q: Have you found yourself dreaming about lifting the World Cup again on the 20 October?
Phil

A: No. Not yet. I am taking one game at a time.

Q: Do you have to follow a special diet when you are training for big games?
Thomas Dingley, 9, Paignton, Devon

A: Not really. Our food is pretty well regulated here. As long as you eat healthily and eat lots of carbohydrates, protein, fruit and vegetables, then you are fine.

What's hard is that when you are cooped up in a hotel all day and not doing a lot of training, the easy thing is to overeat. You just have to watch how much food intake you have.

Q: You seem like a rather collected player. Have you ever lost your temper in a game? If not, how do you keep your cool when something off the ball happens?
Elliot, 22, Dubai

A: I'm normally too tired to lose my temper! I just try to channel my energy in the best way possible and that's into my rugby rather than screaming, shouting and doing things that I would be penalised for.

Q: Do you think that Argentina will be able to get to the final after such an impressive performance in the group stage?
Tom Hiorns, 20, Cheltenham

A: They are very competitive at the breakdown. They are a very physical team and they take their opportunities well. Argentina do not play a lot of rugby from their own half but they have the players to do so if needs must.

They are a difficult team to put under pressure and they have benefited from players taking part in the top European competitions.

Q: Have you been watching much of the World Cup in your spare time? If so, have you enjoyed it?
Phil

A: The World Cup came alive last weekend. There have been some cracking games in the pool stages but last weekend showed all that is good about rugby and sport.

I haven't had the chance to watch that many games - you can have rugby overload to be honest. I tend to watch the matches that I need to as well as analysis of the opposition we are playing.

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    SEE ALSO
    England unchanged for semi-final
    10 Oct 07 |  English
    Betsen takes place in France team
    10 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union
    We must copy French, says Lewsey
    10 Oct 07 |  English
    England 12-10 Australia
    06 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union
    Josh Lewsey's column
    05 Oct 07 |  English
    Josh Lewsey Q&A
    03 Oct 07 |  English
    Josh Lewsey Q&A
    26 Sep 07 |  English
    Josh Lewsey Q&A
    19 Sep 07 |  English
    Josh Lewsey Q&A
    12 Sep 07 |  English
    Josh Lewsey Q&A
    06 Sep 07 |  English
    Josh Lewsey's column
    04 Sep 07 |  English


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