Fiery training sets England straight

Date published: March 12 2015

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England head coach Stuart Lancaster revealed that this week's training has had plenty of "edge" ahead of facing Scotland.

This year's Rugby World Cup hosts were outmuscled and outthought by Ireland two weeks ago, with Lancaster looking to put his first XV under pressure in training through a competitive practice game with the rest of the squad.

As a result he believes England will be in a good place for this weekend's Calcutta Cup contest at Twickenham, admitting he had to tell the players "to calm down" in a feisty training session.

"Both sides had an edge about them. I had to calm it down and it was me blowing the whistle at the end to make sure we didn't play the game too early," said Lancaster.

"The non-15, if you like, had a point to prove but also wanted to create some intensity in the session, particularly at the breakdown, to make sure we were accurate as a team.

"They did that and were a huge challenge for us defensively. It was the type of session you need sometimes in the lead up to a big game.

"You look for that edge and the players were in the right place during the session, but you have to make sure that translates to match day. But it's been a good start to the week.

"You wanted to put the starting team under pressure so that they get used to making decisions under pressure and the more you can replicate that in training, hopefully when the game comes around it becomes easier.

"You can't do it very often because there is usually a game you have just played. We needed it and I'm confident we'll be in the right place for Saturday."

Lancaster was also pleased to have Courtney Lawes back in the side to mastermind the lineout, taking the pressure off Dave Attwood alongside him.

"Having the responsibility of running the line-out gets the best out of Courtney. He's quite quiet off the field, but the more responsibility you give him, the better he becomes," Lancaster said.

"It also means Dave Attwood doesn't have to think about the lineout – he can concentrate on the fundamentals of his game such as breakdown, tackling, carrying hard… smashing people."

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