Planet Rugby



England look ahead to NZ tour

17th November 2013 18:03


chris robshaw joe launchbury england new zealand

Open: Robshaw and Launchbury

England captain Chris Robshaw, who staggered into the press conference sporting a black eye literally the size and colour of half a cricket ball, is already relishing the prospect of England's three-match tour to New Zealand next year.

"They're already calling me Nelson," joked Robshaw after the 33-20 loss to the All Blacks on Saturday.

"Look there's a deflated dressing room down there, but in the cold light of day, the guys will realise we put in a performance of high quality, and, in defeat, we probably played the best rugby we've played all season.

"If we can capture that experience, we will improve. We have seen just how good New Zealand are and we have four opportunities against them in the next twelve months.

"We'll go into those with relish, get some of our injured guy back in the side, and look to improve. There is not much more you can do than that."

England's back row wrecking ball, Billy Vunipola, suggested accuracy was a failing in England's execution.

"We got a lot of things right but it was so frustrating for the final pass to go astray, and also to lose so many line outs at the end," said Vunipola.

"We were pretty fed up with some of the comments flying around in the week, about being underdogs and not having a chance, so I was delighted when the first kick off came straight to me, and then they kept restarting into my arm! I relish the contact and drive, so I was having a lot of fun returning those kicks!"

Try scorer Joe Launchbury, a towering presence in every aspect of England's play, underlined the ambition of Lancaster's team and frustration in conceding the last scores.

"As a group we came into the November tests targeting three wins. I guess we have played well today, but still not well enough to win," said Launchbury.

"However, we are on a learning curve and we'll take a lot from the performance against a side that's not been beaten for 12 months."

by James While at Twickenham

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