England captain Chris Robshaw highlighted the scale of his team’s challenge against New Zealand by saying there’s place to hide.
England captain Chris Robshaw underlined the scale of the challenge facing his side when they play New Zealand in their opening November international at Twickenham on Saturday by saying there was “no hiding place” against the world champions.
The 2015 World Cup hosts have a chance to lay down a marker that confirms their status as serious contenders to lift the Webb Ellis Trophy by beating the All Blacks this weekend.
But in order to do so they will have to end a run of four straight defeats by New Zealand.
However, Robshaw does know what it feels like to defeat the All Blacks having led England to their dramatic 38-21 win at Twickenham in 2012 -just one of seven Red Rose victories over New Zealand in 39 Tests and the best result of coach Stuart Lancaster’s more than two years in charge.
“There’s no hiding place,” said Robshaw.
We’re not going into this game to come out second best.
“You can’t stand off these guys for a second. It’s about us putting our game out there.
“You have to defend extremely well and take your chances — there is no magic formula to beating them.
“In international rugby you know you’re going to get a couple of chances, but in international rugby, when everything is flying around, are we good enough to take our chances?
“As an England squad that’s the next step we need to take if we really want to push ourselves up there.
“We need to be as clinical as these guys coming to town this weekend. They are the benchmark of world rugby.”
New Zealand will be followed to Twickenham this month by South Africa, the tough-tackling Samoa and Australia for what promises to be a gruelling challenge for England.
And Robshaw is well aware of how much a win at Twickenham for any of the southern hemisphere quartet would mean to them less than a year out from the 2015 World Cup.
“With the World Cup at Twickenham, they all want to come here and play well. We want the opposite – we want it to be a fortress,” he added.
“We want the atmosphere to be similar to the last two games here, against Wales and Ireland, and the performance to be similar to them also.
“There’s a lot of talk about next year and of course this is the last time we will play each other prior to that.
“We’re at home and we want to show the crowd we’ve come a long way in the last year.
“We felt we were unlucky on tour in New Zealand in the summer. We didn’t get what we wanted (England lost the series 3-0), but there were a huge amount of positives we’ve brought back here.
“We felt we got quite close in some ways in the summer and we think we excelled in certain areas so we see that our side can hurt them.”