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Cohen desperate to avoid drop

World Cup winner Ben Cohen would hate his Sale career to end with the stigma of relegation.

However, that desperate scenario is still a possibility for the 32-year-old winger, who is in his final months at the club. Newcastle or Leeds - who meet on Saturday - are still favourites to go down, but Cohen is not relaxing yet and remains in a dilemma.

Cohen, who is still undecided about his future plans and whether to hang up his boots, said: "I pride myself on being professional and will be until the end of the season. I also don't want to be part of a team that gets relegated. I want Sale to finish as high as possible in the table."

He added: "As for myself, I have some options which I am assessing. I have got to make the right decision not just for me but my family. I might retire, I don't know yet."

Cohen was part of the England side that won the World Cup in 2003 and believes they have the talent to do so again this year in New Zealand.

He feels they are growing under the stewardship of his former international team-mate Martin Johnson.

Cohen hopes they will learn the lessons of a humbling defeat by Ireland in Dublin in the RBS 6 Nations and be better prepared mentally.

Speaking at the opening of the High and Mighty fashion store in Manchester, he said: "England have a very good chance of winning the World Cup - they have come on massively and made great gains, especially in the last eight months. Once Martin Johnson got consistency in his selection, it started to come together.

"It was disappointing they lost in Ireland the way they did, it was hostile environment and there was a huge amount of pressure on them.

"They have got to block out everything in the World Cup as there will be a lot of focus on England, which will lead to a lot of pressure on them again."


From Belfast Telegraph