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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 November, 2003, 10:59 GMT
Andrew hails Catt call
BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer
By Bryn Palmer
BBC Sport in Australia

England's Mike Catt
Catt made a huge impact as a substitute against Wales
Former World Cup finalist Rob Andrew believes Mike Catt is the man to help England rediscover their best form in Sunday's semi-final against France.

The ex-England fly-half called Catt's inclusion in the side "a very important decision" after the Bath player's assured display as a replacement against Wales.

Catt will resume his midfield axis with under-fire stand-off Jonny Wilkinson, with Mike Tindall demoted to the bench at Sydney's Telstra Stadium.

"It is a sort of one-man adjustment, but Mike Catt looks as though he is the player who has pulled the whole team back into shape," Andrew told the BBC Sport website.

"You get far more than just Mike on his own as a player - you get the rest of the team back to where we know they can be.

"He is maybe the bit of freshness they need at this point to lift the spirits a little, and I think he has done that.

"In the second half against Wales, Catty coming on pulled them back into shape and they all looked less pressurised as a result."

None more so than Wilkinson, who recovered some of the trademark poise he lost during England's faltering first-half display to land 20 more points with the boot.

Newcastle director of rugby Andrew, who arrived in Sydney on Wednesday, is confident his protege can handle the huge burden of expectation heaped upon him.

Rob Andrew
I've no doubts they can still do it
Rob Andrew on England
"I had a really good chat with Jonny and he is fine," Andrew said. "He is feeling a bit of pressure but with a World Cup semi-final coming up, he wouldn't be human if he didn't.

"There is always pressure on Jonny. A lot of it comes from himself, and you are not going to change that, so there is no point trying.

"It also comes from the England team and the fact that the expectations are so high on this group of players. People back home expect them to win the World Cup and that in itself is a huge burden.

"The fact they haven't played as well as we know they can has added a third layer of pressure.

"But Jonny has kicked all the big goals when he has needed to, and that will be crucial again on Sunday."

Despite their tribulations against South Africa, Samoa and Wales, Andrew believes England's stilted progress to date could work in their favour against France.

"They have battled hard and come through some very tough games, and I think that will help them this weekend," he added. "I have got no doubts they can still do it.

"France are a very good side, but this is a World Cup semi-final - it is not meant to be a cake-walk.

"The French have not faced a great deal of pressure yet in this tournament so let's see how they handle it.

"Maybe the fact that England have handled an enormous amount of it will be the difference between the two teams.

"But they have got to go and try to win it instead of trying not to lose it - that is the key."





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