England like a club says Cueto

Mark Cueto says the atmosphere within the England camp is now more like that of a club side. [more]

England like a club says Cueto

Mark Cueto says the atmosphere within the England camp is now more like that of a club side.

Cueto believes consistency in selection has brought the England squad closer together as they prepare for the Six Nations opener with Wales tomorrow night.

“England now is very much like a club environment,” Cueto told the Manchester Evening News.

“It comes down to consistency in the team. It’s good for players because the more games you play back-to-back together, the better your form and confidence. Your bond with guys around you develops too.

“A lot of it is about relationships. If the 15 or 22 or even 32-man squad is changing every other week then you are starting from step one every time.

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“Whereas if that squad stays together and the coaches stay together, you start at step three as everyone has that basic understanding of what we’re trying to achieve.”

England will arrive in Cardiff for the start of the Six Nations in good spirits following home and away wins over Australia in recent months.

But defeat to South Africa in the final international of the November series has reminded Cueto and co that there is still plenty of work to be done ahead of the 2011 World Cup.

And Cueto knows that with time running out before the global gathering in New Zealand later this year, building momentum is of huge importance for England’s chances of success.

“It’s so crucial that we get off to a good start. We want to win the Six Nations and if we are to do that we’ve got to win at the Millennium Stadium,” added 2005 Test Lion Cueto.

“I have still to win there, it’s about time I put that right. And to pick up a result like that on the road would be huge for us.

“If you look at the Autumn internationals, we were a little bit rusty in that first game against New Zealand. You can argue there was such a big gap between our June tour to Australia that it was hard to hit the ground running.

“It is only six or seven weeks since we were last together for the Autumn Tests so it’s vital we don’t take a week to get back into it.

“The encouraging thing is we’re starting to get some huge results with the win in Sydney last summer and then beating Australia at Twickenham in November.

“And if we do have a good Six Nations, it will give us such great momentum moving towards September’s World Cup in New Zealand.

“The Six Nations is such a special tournament. And in a World Cup year, I think it takes on even greater focus. Though the Autumn was good for us on the whole, form goes out of the window in the Six Nations.

“Every game is such a massive one-off so we have to be switched on right from the off.”

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