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Piri Weepu: Home comforts advantage England

Former All Black Piri Weepu said England should exploit their home advantage at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

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Weepu, who plies his club trade with London Welsh in the Aviva Premiership, said Stuart Lancaster's men had a huge buffer hosting the tournament.

The 71-time New Zealand international, and former Haka leader, said England were a more formidable opponent on home soil.

"Every time you play up against England here at Twickenham, it's not exactly quiet," Weepu said.

"It's always good to have home advantage and support. It kind of makes things difficult for opposition coming here, and you don't hear much support towards your own team.

"When it's the home team, you sort of get drowned out but I guess everyone just wants to get here and maybe do as good as they can and you know, it being home soil, England will be a pretty tough team to topple."

With the Rugby World Cup just over a year away, organisers promoted the launch of tickets going on sale with a world-record scrum - with 1,008 people huddling together at Twickenham.

England hooker Dylan Hartley said the enthusiasm around the promotion was a positive sign ahead of the illustrious event.

"The country was awesome the way it got behind it and I think this is the next major sporting event in the UK and England, it's going to be massive, I've got no doubt," the 56-time international said.

"You look at today and 1,008 people turn up for a scrum. That bodes well doesn't it?

"And I think the good thing about having venues all around the country, and we're targeting to sell them all out as well, I really think we can do it."

Former France flanker Serge Betsen, who played 63 times at international level, said Philippe Saint-Andre's men will be among the title contenders in England.

"I believe that France are going to have a great opportunity to show off and to make sure that this coming great events are really a part of their targets to not just be part of that experience and championship but also to be a contender of the winning team," Betsen said.

"And to say that I believe that this coming November too, [Test matches] are going to give Philippe Saint-Andre some idea of how the French team are looking for the next Six Nations and also the World Cup."

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