Don’t underestimate injury-hit Aussies, Catt warns England

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Mike Catt has warned England not to get above themselves as they head into Saturday’s Cook Cup showdown against Australia with the tag of favourites.

The Wallabies will arrive at Twickenham on the back of a 33-6 hammering from France and without four of their leading players, including David Pocock who was ruled out yesterday with a calf strain.

England opened their QBE autumn international campaign with a seven-try 54-12 victory over Fiji - but they also failed to convert a number of opportunities.

While England have talked about an anticipated Australian backlash, Catt’s focus with the players has been on the need to improve and sharpen their accuracy.

“You never underestimate the Australians,” said Catt, England’s skills coach.

“I have had some fantastic games against them. It is always a humdinger and their tour will get back on track if they beat England.

“This is their next opportunity and we need to make sure we get our bit right.”

Pocock had been set for a return to action at Twickenham after recovering from a knee injury, only to suffer the calf problem.

In theory, Pocock’s absence will help England secure the quick ball they want for Toby Flood and Alex Goode to release the back division, but Catt is wary of Michael Hooper’s influence.

“Pocock is a world-class seven, but don’t underestimate Hooper, who is on the ball all the time and has an incredible work rate.