Romania have made a record 11 changes in their starting XV to play England in a World Cup Pool B match on Saturday but coach Romeo Gontineac says that the shake-up is all about giving his players exposure at the top level, according to the official website of the competition rugbyworldcup.com.
Gontineac played down the notion it was risky to make so many changes against England with the previous mark for Romania at a World Cup being eight players between matches.
“It would also be a risk to keep the same team, because already we have played two games with almost the same team, and secondly, the team after the game against Argentina was not too happy with their game,” he said for rugbyworldcup.com. Romanian eyes are certainly on the following week’s all-important clash with Georgia in Palmerston North to possibly decide the third team in the group and automatic qualification for Rugby World Cup 2015.
The only player to retain his position is second row Cristian Petre, who takes over the captain’s reins from hooker Marius Tincu, who will warm the bench and has been appointed vice-captain.
England manager Martin Johnson has scoffed at suggestions Romania would be easy pickings. “We’re in a World Cup, we’ve seen coaches manage their squads. They’ve made changes, we’ve made changes. It doesn’t change anything. We’ve still got to put in the best performance we can,” he said.