Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

England Must Be Positive against Kiwis - Lancaster

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

England Must Be Positive against Kiwis - Lancaster

Article excerpt

STUART Lancaster insists England must enter Saturday's showdown with New Zealand convinced they will triumph if they are to develop the mentality needed to lift the 2015 World Cup.

Twickenham hosts a heavyweight climax to the QBE internationals on Saturday when the sport's first and third best teams collide in a contest bursting with significance.

New Zealand are intent on avenging their record 38-21 defeat last autumn - their only loss in 33 matches - and a result they blame on the virus they claim swept through their camp just days before the game.

For England the stage offers the chance to demonstrate they are a legitimate threat to the All Blacks' world crown, as their sequence of nine wins in 10 matches suggests.

One team faces disappointment, but Lancaster insists his faith in England's development is shared by his players.

"He said: New Zealand are a team apart, but if we want to be genuine World Cup contenders we have to have the belief e can win these games.

"There is the pressure and expectation of delivering against the best side in the world.

"To back ourselves to win a World Cup in England we have to have con-fidence to play sides like New Zealand.

"We are playing them four times over the next six months.

"That will gives us a good barometer to see where we are.

"When you play the best team in the world you are in for a huge physical, mental and technical examination.

"They have gone to Johannesburg, Sydney and France and won. They are used to it.

"We have won our last six games at home - we're a young side with a growing confidence within it."

Only 287 caps were shared among the staring XV that defeated Argentina 31-12 on Saturday. In contrast, the All Blacks numbered 853 for their 26-19 victory over France.

Lancaster added: "We will still have a pretty young, inexperienced team come Saturday but we will be hugely motivated by the greatest challenge in rugby. …

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