England raging favourites – Cheika

Date published: May 26 2015

Australia head coach Michael Cheika has put the pressure on England ahead of their World Cup pool clash, saying the hosts are "raging favourites".

The October 3 match, which is expected to be pivotal in a group that also includes Wales, Fiji and Uruguay, could decide who makes the knockouts.

Cheika thinks that England playing at Twickenham gives them a huge leg-up and told BBC Radio 5 live that his Wallabies will enter as the underdog.

"I don't think they're going to be lacking anything when they play at Twickenham against Australia," said the current Waratahs and Australia coach.

"They beat us up there last time and they will go into that game raging favourites.

"It's up to us to do our best to stop the chariot when it's on fire."

England will be without centre Manu Tuilagi and flanker Steffon Armitage for the tournament due to an assault conviction and their overseas policy respectively, with Cheika not hiding the fact their absence is a boost for his own side.

"It's none of my business to be honest, but Armitage is a fine player and I'm certainly pleased it's another great opponent we won't have to come across," he added.

"It's (Tuilagi's absence) a little bit disappointing because he's such a talented player.

"It's a bit of a shame he won't be able to fulfil his potential on the world stage at the World Cup."