Argentina may be about to present Ben Foden with the perfect opportunity to rediscover the form that earned him the England fullback jersey in time for the World Cup.
The 26-year-old Foden is likely to start at No.15 in England's first World Cup match on Saturday against an Argentina line-up heavily reliant upon forward power and the hoisted high ball.
Far from being intimidated by the prospect of No.8 Juan Fernandez Lobbe charging down on him in pursuit of a high kick, Foden has identified the Pumas' tactic as presenting a platform for running rugby.
"I played with him for many years at Sale and I know what he's capable of," Foden said. "I look forward to him bearing down on me if they do send a couple up. But we've talked about it, we know that's one of the tactics that they can use and we're expecting it.
"For me as a fullback, it's ideal. It means I'll get a bit of ball and I'm sure the likes of Crofty and Woody or whoever will be playing will put enough pressure on them to give me an opportunity to run the ball back."
Lobbe started each match in Argentina's run to third place at the 2007 World Cup and has won two of his four matches against England.
But Foden, who has been first-choice fullback since facing France in the last match of the 2010 Six Nations, will relish any chance to attack after few opportunities came his way in the warm-up matches against Wales and Ireland.
"The halfbacks have realized that if they kick loose ball to us in the back line, we're going to punish them," Foden said. "We've not seen as much ball as in the previous games. But Argentina, that's one of the tactics they revel in."
England laboured home and away against Wales before finally flickering into form to beat Ireland, but Foden said not too much should be read into the efforts of players coming off a long summer break.
"In the back of your mind you're thinking you've got to use them as a preseason game to get rid of the cobwebs and get rid of the rustiness," Foden said. "You had it in your mind as well that you just needed to get through them and stay fit and fresh and ready to go and not do yourself any harm."
Scrumhalf Danny Care was ruled out of the World Cup after damaging his toe against Wales and captain Lewis Moody will sit out Saturday's opener because of the knee injury he sustained at Twickenham last month.
"Now we're playing, we're actually here and we've got Argentina to look forward to, it's a completely different kettle of fish," Foden said. "We've been working so hard for this point. For me, it's what I've been working hard for my whole career."
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