Planet Rugby

Catt: Midfield duo will bounce back

08th November 2013 15:33


Mike Catt England coach

Backing centres: Catt

England attack coach Mike Catt believes misfiring centres Billy Twelvetrees and Joel Tomkins will come good against Argentina.

The Pumas visit Twickenham on Saturday to mark England's second November Test, and Catt - a former England centre himself - has backed the duo to improve.

"All of us were a little bit disappointed with the attacking performance against Australia," Catt told Yahoo.

"But looking at the detail of the game, when you don't get the ability to gain momentum from your set piece it doesn't work for you.

"It's about having patience and when the one or two opportunities do come our way we need to make sure we take them.

"What happens is players get frustrated by that, so it's a learning curve for them to not allow that to happen.

"We want the set piece we need against Argentina so we can generate the type of ball guys like Billy and Joel thrive on and release the likes of Chris Ashton, Ben Foden and Mike Brown.

"We'd like it to be nice and dry so we can really move Argentina around."

With the midfield pairing posting a disappointing set stats, making a combined total of just 14 metres and failing register a single line-break, Catt feels they must be given time to develop.

"They both know exactly what they're capable of doing. I'd like to think we've worked exceptionally well this week," revealed Catt.

"There were very few opportunities against Australia. They've only had two weeks together as a partnership, eight training sessions."

Meanwhile, out-of-form winger Chris Ashton has been handed a reprieve and a lifeline to resurrect a stalling international career with injuries to rivals Marland Yarde and Christian Wade.

With a defensive slip from Ashton contributing to Australia's only try in Saturday's November Test victory, Catt has left the Saracen in no doubt he must improve.

"Chris needs to perform like everybody else. (Head coach) Stuart Lancaster alluded to his defensive frailties," added Catt.

"He needs to make his tackles and do what he's good at. Hopefully the game will open up enough for him to be really able to express himself.

"It's another good opportunity for him so he needs to make sure he gets it right, like everybody else."

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