Robinson: England need momentum

Andy Robinson has underlined the importance of England gaining immediate momentum when they begin their quest for RBS 6 Nations silverware against defending champions Wales at Twickenham next week. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Andy Robinson has underlined the importance of England gaining immediate momentum when they begin their quest for RBS 6 Nations silverware against defending champions Wales at Twickenham next week.

The World Cup holders can make a major statement of intent by stopping Welsh attempts for a second successive Grand Slam at the first hurdle.

Wales have not won at Twickenham since their Triple Crown season of 1988, and England will go into the game as favourites to extend that sequence.

England, though, have not exactly set the world alight in recent RBS 6 Nations seasons, winning just five of their last 10 games in the tournament and slipping to an embarrassing fourth place a year ago.

"Any time an England team goes on the pitch, the expectation is there to win," said head coach Robinson.

Google Ad Manager – In Article

"The important thing for us is beating Wales, starting the momentum and getting the ball rolling.

"If you look at what was achieved by Wales last season, they won by a kick in the last five minutes against us which enabled them to grow.

"For us, it created a little bit of instability and, from that, we stuttered through the championship, so it is important we get a win in this first game."

Wales have seen their preparations severely disrupted by injuries and suspension, with the likes of British & Irish Lions Gavin Henson, Ryan Jones and Tom Shanklin all absent from Twickenham.

By contrast, Robinson’s problems are minimal, although Bath centre Olly Barkley is out because of a dislocated thumb and flanker Pat Henderson is battling to overcome a back injury.

Lawrence Dallaglio’s return to the England fold some 17 months after he retired from international rugby has proved a major talking point, but Robinson was keen to emphasise the qualities of captain Martin Corry at the RBS 6 Nations launch in London.

Corry is set to lead England throughout the tournament, and Robinson’s regard for the Leicester number eight remains undiminished.

"The last two weeks, and the way Martin led the Leicester side in the Heineken Cup games in Stade Francais and Clermont Auvergne, shows how well he is performing and how well the team reacts to him under pressure," added Robinson.

"Certainly, as always, we are going to be under pressure in these games and it will need Martin’s outstanding leadership and that of the other leaders to keep a cool head."

Previous story Simpson-Daniel signs new Gloucester deal
Next story Wilkinson comeback still on hold
Download