England a better side than one Fiji beat – George

Venue: Stade de Marseille Date: Sunday, 15 October Kick-off: 16:00 BST
Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app

Jamie George says England are “a much better team” than the one that lost to Fiji in August as they prepare to meet again in the World Cup quarter-final.

George says memories of Fiji “running riot” at Twickenham still “hurts”.

“It’s an opportunity to put a few things right from that game, which was shocking,” hooker George told BBC Sport before Sunday’s match in Marseille.

“It would be wrong of us to try to dismiss it. We are a much better team now than we were then but there are some clear things we have to take away.

“[Defence coach] Kevin Sinfield has been very clear about reminding us and showing us clips. It hurts watching us defend like that and letting Fiji run riot at Twickenham.

“We sat back and waited for them to offload, we waited for them to line break and we waited for them to scrum against us. We can’t do that his weekend and he [Sinfield] has made sure we’re fully aware we probably owe them one.

“We have to make sure we take our lessons from that and be a better team this week. We have to express ourselves and put our England imprint onto the field.”

Defeat by Fiji was their fifth in six Tests under Steve Borthwick heading into the tournament, before an opening-game win against Argentina kick-started their Pool D campaign in France.

England reached the last eight as group winners after claiming victory in all four games.

Having qualified for the knockout stages, England had to come from behind to limp to victory against Samoa in a performance George says was “flat”.

The 32-year-old continued: “There is no excuse to perform like that. It was very flat and that worried me at the time.

“The best thing about the Argentina week was the build-up. We had just lost to Fiji with a really poor, low-energy performance.

“The build-up throughout that week was awesome and I knew that performance was coming in how we defended and how we fought.

“It wasn’t perfect and our attack didn’t quite gel but we saw a difference. It has been a very similar feel for us this week.

“There are clear things for us to go after, and on top of that you have the Fiji game at Twickenham and that little bit of hurt and fear that we can’t perform like that again. It is fuel to the fire.”

Hear more from Jamie George in Thursday’s episode of the BBC’s Rugby Union Daily podcast on BBC Sounds.

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