A former international rugby star says the USA may frighten its opponents at the World Cup, but it shouldn’t pose a threat to England

  • Former England international Andy Goode says the USA could frighten some teams at the Rugby World Cup, but it shouldn't pose a threat to England.
  • The USA takes on England, who beat Tonga 35-3 on Sunday, in its tournament opener on Thursday.
  • "There is an expectation that [USA] will be beaten by England in round 2," Goode told Business Insider. "They'll be targeting Argentina. They'll be targeting the Tonga game and possibly the French."
  • England coach Eddie Jones will make 10 changes to his side for the USA game, including dropping key men Owen Farrell and Manu Tuilagi, according to the BBC.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The USA national rugby team may frighten some teams at the World Cup in Japan, but it shouldn't pose a threat to England, says former international star Andy Goode.

The USA take on England, who disposed of Tonga 35-3 on Sunday, in its first game of the tournament on Thursday at the Kobe Misaki Stadium in Hyogo-ku.

The clash is the first of USA's four Pool C games, with Gary Gold's side facing off against France, Argentina, and finally Tonga over the next three weeks to wrap up the group stages.

Gold, who has coached at club level in England with Bath and the Newcastle Falcons, told Reuters his side will "relish the challenge" of taking on England, and that the team is ready to "go out and show we can compete" against some of the world's best. 

However, Goode believes the Americans should, and will, be looking beyond the clash with Eddie Jones' side, as it is here they are most likely to pick up points.

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"To be fair to the USA, they are going to frighten teams in terms of how they are going to play," Goode, who is an ambassador for official England Rugby partner Greene King IPA, told Business Insider.

"There is an expectation that they will be beaten by England in round 2, but they'll be targeting Argentina. They'll be targeting the Tonga game and possibly the French. You never know which French team is going to turn up."

He added: "Ultimately for a team like the USA, if you finish third in the group stages, you automatically qualify for the next World Cup, which will be their goal.

"To do that they're going to have to upset either France, England, or Argentina, and obviously beat Tonga as well. It's a tough ask for them, but I believe they can put a scare up the Argentinians."

Goode also urged England, for whom he made 17 appearances between 2005-2009, not to underestimate the USA.

"No team will be taking the USA lightly," he said. "There is an expectation that England will beat them, but, if you underestimate any team at the World Cup, with the power they have got and the players they've got to run a game, then you're only going to do yourself a disservice."

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His warning comes after England coach Eddie Jones said facing the USA will be like facing "15 Donald Trumps" who will come out "all guns blazing." 

"It's going to be like 15 Donald Trumps out there, so we'll have to be on our job, because we know they're going to give it everything they've got, just like Tonga did," he said, according to Sky Sports.

"That's great for us because we'll have to be at our best."

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USA head coach Gary Gold appeard to be a bit confused by the comments, saying: "At this stage, with all due respect, we're not a good enough rugby team to be making comments or answers to questions like that.

"I don't know what it means."

England produced a convincing display in its World Cup opener against Tonga on Sunday, running 35 points past Toutai Kefu's side to begin the tournament with a win. 

Eddie Jones' side was sloppy in opening stages, managing only three points from an Owen Farrell penalty, however found its rhythm after Manu Tuilagi scored the game's first try on 23 minutes when he muscled past four defenders to place the ball over the line.

Tuilagi added England's and his second just seven minutes later, when he was fed in following some excellent quick hands from Elliott Daly and Jonny May on the left flank. 

You can watch the highlights here: 

Jamie George and Luke Cowan-Dickie added two more tries, both of which were converted by Farrell to seal an impressive victory. 

Eddie Jones' has already announced he will make 10 changes to the starting XI that beat Tonga against the USA, including dropping key men Ben Youngs, Farrell, and Tuilagi.

"Against the US we want to take a different approach," Jones told the BBC. "We want to take them at the start of the game, go out pretty hard, attack them a bit more and see where it leads us."

The USA's clash with England kicks off at 11.45 a.m. GMT or 6.45 a.m. ET Thursday. 

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