Planet Rugby

We must win the title - Lancaster

04th March 2014 09:30


SKY_MOBILE Stuart Lancaster England

Prepared: Stuart Lancaster

England boss Stuart Lancaster has reaffirmed his side's need to win this year's delicately poised Six Nations Championship.

England sit level on points with Wales, Ireland and France after all four teams won two and lost one of their opening three fixtures.

They now face a crunch Test against Wales at Twickenham, still licking their wounds after Warren Gatland's men trounced them in the Cardiff title-decider a year ago.

"I agree that we need to close the deal and win the tournament. It was the objective at the outset to try to win the tournament," said Lancaster.

"We didn't quite achieve what we wanted against France. That put us on the back foot.

"From that point on we've used Wales as motivation, after they lost their first game against Ireland last year but went on to win the title.

"In order to win a championship you have got to win four straight after losing the first. No-one has won a title on three wins.

"If we can get the win on Sunday, it's still within our capability."

The coach admitted he feels disappointed when his side are saddled with the often unjustified "arrogant" prefix.

"I'd be disappointed if it was put against us as a group because I don't think it's a reflection of the group at all," added Lancaster.

"We want to come across as a group that's got our feet on the ground, that's not getting carried away with ourselves and have a bit of humility about ourselves."

Centre Manu Tuilagi and winger Marland Yarde have recently recovered from long-term injuries dating back to 2013, and Lancaster drafted the pair into his training squad earlier this week.

The coach conceded, however, that it would take something remarkable for either to force his way into contention for Sunday's fixture.

"They'd have to go some in the next couple of days, it's fair to say," admitted Lancaster.

"It's a big ask for Manu to come back having had such a long period out.

"He hasn't had any time with us in camp whatsoever, so Tuesday will be the first training session he's done since the Wales game last year."

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Friday , February 6
Wales vs England20:05
Saturday , February 7
Italy vs Ireland14:30
France vs Scotland17:00
Saturday , February 14
England vs Italy14:30
Ireland vs France17:00
Sunday , February 15
Scotland vs Wales15:00
Saturday , February 28
Scotland vs Italy14:30
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Sunday , March 1
Ireland vs England15:00
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