Croft getting tough
England flanker Tom Croft says he been working on combining pace with aggression to tackle Australia on Saturday.
Last Updated: 14/11/08 2:01pm
England flanker Tom Croft says he been working on combining his pace with a new aggressive edge to tackle Australia on Saturday.
Leicester Tigers forward Croft has blistering pace for a man of his size, but he knows that he will need to be tough in the combative nature of a game against the Wallabies at Twickenham.
Croft says he has been working on using his pace, but also using his power, against Australia, with help from England coach Martin Johnson.
"I've had to work very hard on adapting to things, deciding when I can use my pace and when I have to get my head stuck in and do the hard work," said Croft.
"Johnno's leading the training sessions and that need for aggression is what you take from them.
"He was a very physical rugby player and we want to take that emphasis into the game on Saturday.
"When I was growing up Johnson was my idol. You looked up to him. You saw what he did and tried to base your game around him.
"What's my role? Contributing to the line-outs as much as possible, attack and defence and getting around the park. Linking up with the backs and obviously adding that physical edge.
"We have been slowly ramping it up during the week so when we get to Saturday we will be really firing."
Johnson's men need to build on their display against the Pacific Islanders last week to face Australia, but they are a work in progress.
Croft has been identified by Johnson as a star of the future due to his size and speed, and the 23-year-old knows his sixth cap will be a tough one.
"Australia are one of the world's best teams," he said. "Very skilful and very physical.
"But after every match you have to raise your game a level to sort the things out that go wrong. You have to build on performances.
"If you stayed at the same level teams would know what you were going to do and that's how teams overcome you.
"The Pacific Islanders were a very physical team but it is these sort of games when you can really test yourself."