England coach Stuart Lancaster wanted Dan Cole's experience for New Zealand battle

Last Updated: 14/11/13 9:56pm

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England head coach Staurt Lancaster talks to the media ahead of the Autumn International test against New Zealand.

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Stuart Lancaster believes the experience of Dan Cole will be vital to England's chances of inflicting a first defeat of the year on New Zealand on Saturday.

Cole has been recalled at tight-head prop ahead of David Wilson in the only change to the XV that started last weekend's win over Argentina.

Lancaster also admitted the loss of fellow props Alex Corbisiero and Mako Vunipola was a "big blow", although he is happy to have Cole and Wilson to tackle the All Blacks pack.

"Dan has been around the team in every game I've been involved in," said Lancaster. "He's started virtually every game and we wanted his experience.

"We were delighted with David's contribution last week, particularly his ball carrying which has developed this season, and he'll make a contribution in the second half at some point I'm sure.

"Losing Alex is a big blow, but it's not just Alex, it's Mako as well. We've lost two British Lions loose-heads from our 23, but we've got a great opportunity now to look at other players and be tested at the highest level against the best team in the world.

"The scrum is going to be a tough examination, both teams are very competitive in that area. We work hard in that area and pride ourselves in that detail. We hope to execute, but we also know that New Zealand are pretty good as well."


Marland Yarde and Christian Wade have again been ruled out by injury, meaning Chris Ashton and Ben Foden retain their places on the wings with Mike Brown again starting at full-back.

Lancaster added: "Both Marland and Christian would have been close to a start. The Argentina game was set up for both to play, and for both to miss out was disappointing.

"The last thing I wanted to do was put a player into a game of this size and magnitude if they're not quite 100% physically or mentally. You can't do that with young players.

"But we're certainly happy with the back three we've got, and Alex Goode coming off the bench will be positive for us."

Lancaster is under no illusion as to the size of the task ahead at Twickenham, and he is aware that the All Blacks remain the strongest all-round team in world rugby.

"We are playing the best team in the world," he added. "You look at the quality of their team from one to 23, as well as the consistency of their results, and it's going to be a formidable challenge but one we're really excited about.

"They have got a great two-sided attack and a fantastic kicking game, they play in the right areas and they've got threats all over the field.

"Their ability to contest the ball aerially is exceptional, and they recover a lot of the balls they kick and they attack on the back of that. That's what makes them such a good side.

"But their kicking game is only one part of their armoury, they've got lots of other threats as well. We recognise the work our back three will have to do, but we've also got to put our game on them.

"It's who delivers under pressure on the day that will win."

The England coach also paid tribute to All Black veteran fly-half Dan Carter, who will win his 100th international cap this weekend.

Lancaster said: "He's not the only New Zealand player to have 100 caps, and that's a testament to their consistency as players, and as a team, that they keep getting selected.

"Dan has been rated one of the best players in the world and rightly so, and he's the type of role model that all young rugby players should aspire to be.

"The way he conducts himself both on and off the field is exemplary, and he is a credit to his country.

Watch England take on the All Blacks live on Sky Sports 1 and Sky 3D, coverage starts at 1.30pm

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