Planet Rugby

Rowntree prepared for dogfight

02nd February 2013 11:03


Graham Rowntree

Graham Rowntree: Pleased with progress

England forwards coach Graham Rowntree expects a tough assignment when his side face Scotland in Saturday's Six Nations opener at Twickenham.

Although Scotland have been under-achieving in recent years, Rowntree is not underestimating them and wants England to build on their recent victory over New Zealand.

"I am pleased how the last year has gone but I want more," he said.

"We are nowhere near where we can be and no-one knows that more than us.

"We have spoken a lot this week about recreating the intensity we showed against New Zealand. That has to be our benchmark going forward.

"We know where we are in terms of our group, our experience and what we have to get better at. That's what drives us on, that (quest for) perfection."

England have improved steadily under coach Stuart Lancaster's guidance but although Scotland have not won a Test at Twickenham in 30 years, Rowntree is prepared for a dogfight against them this weekend.

"We have got a good culture and one of our bedrock statements is we have to be hard to beat," Rowntree said.

"We will challenge teams in every area of the field.

"The challenge for us now is about dealing with the expectancy and backing up our performances.

"There is nothing more daunting to me than a team coming here with nothing to lose.

"They are always tight games given the competition between the two countries. I am on edge about the game."

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