England can follow Irish lead

Ireland show what can be done

Last Updated: 07/11/08 5:16pm

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Purdham: Chance to play

Purdham: Chance to play

Sky Bet

Harlequins captain Rob Purdham is hoping England can follow the example of Ireland in their final World Cup group match.

Watch England v New Zealand live on Sky Sports 2 from 8.30am or log on to skysports.com for live, interactive text commentary

England have yet to find top gear in this World Cup, underperforming against both Australia and Papua New Guinea, and they need to beat New Zealand to guarantee a semi-final place.

The versatile loose-forward has kept in close contact with Irish clubmate Gareth Haggerty throughout the tournament and is hoping England can be inspired by the gutsy and skilful displays that have earned Ireland a place in the semi-final qualifier.

"I'm pleased for the Irish, and Scotland got their win as well," said Purdham. "Ireland did really well and you fancy their chances. They have played some good stuff.

"They have performed and I don't think we have yet really. But we're a good squad and hopefully it will come right for us."

Purdham, who captained the second-tier England team to victory in the 2006 Federation Shield, was 18th man for England's first two games but will get his chance against New Zealand at Newcastle's EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Opportunity

"(England coach) Tony (Smith) told me to get ready to play and I'm excited about that," he said.

"I was disappointed not to get in the team earlier but there were good players in front of me. It's good to get in the team this week and I've got to take my chance.

"That's what it's all about, taking your chance and proving yourself and getting in the team to play in the semis and the final.

"Hopefully we can get some fluency going and some consistency in our performance. We'll not be concentrating on the scoreboard too much. It's not a do-or-die result but, if we get our performance right, the score will look after itself."

Paul Sykes, Mickey Higham, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Jamie Langley and Ben Westwood are also set to get their first run-outs of the World Cup as England seek to restore their pride following their heavy 52-4 defeat at the hands of the Kangaroos.

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