White looks forward

Prop forward Julian White has seen a number of fellow England stalwarts excused duty for this month's Australian tour but insists he is relishing the opportunity to be part of head coach Andy Robinson's new regime. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Prop forward Julian White has seen a number of fellow England stalwarts excused duty for this month’s Australian tour but insists he is relishing the opportunity to be part of head coach Andy Robinson’s new regime.

British & Irish Lion White, who admits it was time for changes to an England set-up which has under-performed since triumphing at the 2003 World Cup in Sydney, said: "It’s exciting.

"Since the last World Cup it’s been a pretty tough time. There’s been some massive changes with the players and now with the coaching staff.

"Perhaps we needed some new coaches and some new ideas. It had all got a bit stale."

The Leicester front row man is looking forward to working again with John Wells, his club’s former coach who was last month appointed to take charge of the England forwards.

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White continued: "John Wells is the best forwards coach I’ve worked with and its great for him that he’s involved and it’s also good with Brian Ashton and Mike Ford coming in.

"It needed freshening up, not only with players but the coaching staff as well, and hopefully we can meet the challenge and go forward in the build-up to the next World Cup."

White is looking forward to the Test matches against Australia in Sydney on June 11 and Melbourne six days later.

He was not part of the England pack which steamrollered the makeshift Australian forward unit in the autumn internationals as he was serving a suspension which, as it turned out, proved something of a blessing in disguise.

He explained: "I had a knee operation which would have needed to be done before the end of the season anyway. It allowed me to get the cartilage tidied up."

White expects the Wallaby forwards to be a far tougher proposition under Michael Foley – lured home to join their new-look coaching team – than they were at Twickenham last year.

He said: "So much was made of it that they will have made a massive point of sorting their scrum out.

"Michael Foley has worked in the Premiership with Bath, who had one of the best sets of forwards in Europe in the last couple of years.

"His going there will have had a big effect on their forwards and they are going to have worked very hard on that. It’s going to be very tough."

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