England not thinking about repercussions

Date published: October 1 2015

England boss Stuart Lancaster said that the squad were not dwelling on the potentially disastrous repercussions of losing Saturday's game with Australia.

A loss would more or less knock England out of the Rugby World Cup before the quarter-final stage.

"You don't take the players beyond Saturday. You don't spend the time thinking about the past, you focus on Saturday," Lancaster said.

"The stakes are huge. But the boys are ready.

"This is the biggest game of my career. If we don't win, we don't qualify for the next stage. But I have to make sure the players are not focusing on the size of the game." 

Lancaster wouldn't be drawn at Thursday's press conference on what a loss might mean for his own future in charge of the national side.

He stated: "I am not going beyond this game. A lot of things to play out in the next two weeks. I am concentrating on this week. If you concentrate on the what ifs, you are not doing your job." 

England had worked on taking positives out of their defeat last weekend to Wales, with Lancaster adding that the squad were focused immediately on beating the Wallabies.

"For 60 minutes we played a very good level of test match rugby. Getting over a defeat and turning it into a victory is something we have done before," Lancaster added.

"It was a hugely disappointing defeat. By Monday evening, the guys were ready to play and it was a matter of holding them back.

"It is a huge game. We respect the quality of opposition but we know we can beat them."

The return of outside centre Jonathan Joseph though is the biggest positive of all for Lancaster at a time when England need him most, with the head coach saying: "It was a big blow to lose him last week. To have him back in the side is a huge positive."