Johnson happy to sacrifice style

30 August 2011

Head coach Martin Johnson will be happy to sacrifice style for the result when England open their World Cup campaign against Argentina.

England have been handed a tough-looking start at the showpiece tournament and will take on the Pumas in Dunedin on September 10.

Rather than showing the world that they are serious contenders to go all the way, Johnson will take the flak and be happy if his side win by the narrowest of margins.

Argentina beat France in the opening game of the 2007 competition and Johnson is simply looking to register the win, by any means necessary.

"The whole thing was starting in their country and there was huge pressure on them to lay a marker down or make a statement," he said.

"Just win the game and get through.

"When we beat South Africa in 2003, that was the most pressurised game and we beat them by 17 points and everyone said that wasn't very good. I would have taken winning by one point.

"If you win by a point, you are still in there fighting."

Johnson, who captained the side to World Cup glory in 2003, had earlier revealed that he is expecting everyone to be available for the Pumas clash, with Simon Shaw set to fly out late when he has recovered from a stomach bug.