World Cup in Brief: Barclay says Scots must have belief they can beat England

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The Independent Online

Flanker John Barclay says Scotland will defeat England by enough points to avoid a group stage World Cup exit – so long as they maintain the belief that they can do it. Following the 13-12 loss to Argentina in Wellington, Scotland must win at Eden Park on Saturday and by a margin of at least eight points – or the losing bonus point will put England through.

The Glasgow Warriors open-side said: "It's not about making massive changes – we're not going to reinvent the wheel in the space of a week. It's just about looking at what we could've done better – the same as every week – and going out with belief and confidence that we can go out there and win and win well. If we lose we go home – there's no bigger stage and no bigger game."

Du Plessis in line for rare start as Springboks give Smit a rest

South Africa's Bismarck du Plessis is likely to make his first World Cup start against Samoa on Friday, but the hooker knows even a brilliant performance is unlikely to secure him the berth permanently.

One of the best hookers in the world, the 27-year-old has spent his entire international career as understudy to inspirational Springboks captain John Smit, who is expected to be rested after playing 15 successive World Cup matches stretching back to the 2003 tournament.

Du Plessis, who was also part of the 2007 winning squad, said: "I'm really excited to play. I've been on the bench for two games and wasn't involved for one game. I just hope I can fill John's boots."

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