ENGLAND and Ben Foden are on the brink of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup, with old rivals Scotland the only side who can stop them from marching into the last eight.
Chester-born fullback Foden is expected to be in England’s starting 15 for Saturday’s showdown against the Scots, who need to win by eight points or more to claim one of the two qualification spots in Pool B.
But England are the pre-match favourites and they were in ruthless form in last Saturday’s 67-3 demolition of Romania, when Foden, 26, scored his first try of the tournament.
And Ben’s dad Rob, who will be at Eden Park in Auckland this Saturday to watch his son in action, says the England players are in confident mood.
Rob told The Chronicle: “I still think there is a lot more to come from England and I know that Ben feels the same. But we are improving steadily, which is extremely positive.
“We are going to have to be very accurate, composed and clinical in our performance against Scotland. The players are itching to get out there to show another improved performance.”
While out in New Zealand, it emerged that Ben’s girlfriend Una Healy – a singer in pop band The Saturdays – was pregnant with the couple’s first child.
The Northampton Saints player celebrated his try against Romania accordingly, rocking his arms from side to side, as though rocking a baby.
Rob confirmed the celebration was ‘a little message back to Una’ and said the singer was unlikely to make it over to New Zealand due to her commitments with The Saturdays.
Ben, who was raised in Cholmondeley and began his rugby career at Chester RUFC, has played in each of England’s three Pool B matches so far. A win against Scotland would see England top the group, leaving Andy Robinson’s men and Argentina to sweat on finishing second.
England v Scotland kicks off at 8.30am (UK time) on Saturday and will shown live on ITV1. The England team was due to be announced in the early hours of this morning.