Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Fact Gathering Mission Says Ben

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Fact Gathering Mission Says Ben

Article excerpt

FORMER England winger Ben Cohen feels the team's tour to South Africa may simply serve as a "fact-finding" mission for coach Stuart Lancaster, with match results being of little real significance.

Lancaster and his players have arrived in Africa for the three-Test trip, their first tour under the 42-year-old.

Cohen has no doubt the group will be geared up to try and win the games, but says performances are likely to be the most important thing at this early stage of the buildup to the 2015 World Cup. "It is a big ask and I think it is going to be a tough test, but a good test," said Cohen, who won the World Cup with England in 2003 and who retired last year.

"There is more than three years until the next World Cup and it will be good to see who is going to react and how they perform under pressure.

"Now that Stuart has got the job, it is about how he and his staff are going to manage that transition and get players to perform, play in a system and bring them on to compete against the best teams in the world. …

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