QBE Internationals: Stuart Lancaster tells England players, forget GB&Ire Lions
Last Updated: 29/10/13 10:06am
Stuart Lancaster: Lions tour will have no bearing
England head coach Stuart Lancaster has told his players not to pay too much attention to the British and Irish Lions' series victory over Australia in the summer.
The Wallabies visit Twickenham for Saturday's opening QBE International reeling from seven defeats in their 10 matches this year, but coach Ewen McKenzie has set an unbeaten five-match European tour as an achievable target.
Seven England players were involved in the Lions' series-clinching third Test triumph in Sydney in July, five of them arriving off the bench in the second half.
"I'm not expecting a backlash because the Lions are unique," Lancaster said. "Australia will not look at us any more personally than they would Wales. They will enjoy the challenge of coming to Twickenham.
Australia stunned the hosts 20-14 in London last November and it is that result that Lancaster believes has greater relevance to Saturday than the tourists' difficulties this year.
"The Wallabies are improving massively in their quality of performances. I saw them play Argentina and New Zealand and they were right up there," he said.
"We know we face a massive threat against them. They're a good side with quality players. We won't be taking them for granted - we lost to them last year.
"This is a very competitive Australia side with 500-600 caps, but having said that we are at Twickenham. We will be quietly confident about what we are going to do.
"There has been a lot of talk about our last match against New Zealand, but our only focus is Australia. It's important to get up to speed as soon as possible."
Lancaster names his team to face Australia on Thursday morning with the second row, back three and scrum-half the main areas of scrutiny.
Either Geoff Parling or Joe Launchbury will be selected to start alongside Courtney Lawes at lock and there is a shootout between Ben Youngs and Lee Dickson at scrum-half.
Wings Chris Ashton and Marland Yarde and full-back Mike Brown look set to make up the back three.
Watch England's opening November international against Australia on Sky Sports HD2 on Saturday