Lancaster urges England to use Wales comeback as inspiration
Last Updated: 02/02/14 11:05pm
Stuart Lancaster: Counting the cost of England's defeat to France
England head coach Stuart Lancaster will urge his squad to use Wales' Six Nations comeback of last season as their inspiration for success in this year's competition.
France are favourites for the title after their late 26-24 win in Paris over England, who must now win all four of their remaining games to improve on their two successive second-placed finishes.
Last season, Wales were beaten by Cardiff in their first game of the championship but went on to win their other four matches and secure the silverware.
Lancaster will now have no other option but to use that example as a template to his team while also playing down the important of the opening fixture.
"Wales lost in the first game last year and won the championship, don't forget that. That's what I told my players after the game," he said.
"France will be a tough side to beat, but championships aren't won in the first round.
"We're disappointed to have lost and that's probably a reflection of where we are in terms of our expectation."
Just under four minutes were left in Paris when Gael Fickou's footwork outwitted the cover defence to give Maxime Machenaud the simplest of match-winning conversions.
Having controlled long spells and seemingly dictating the final stages of a chaotic and gripping contest, England were stunned to have slipped behind.
With a trip to Edinburgh on Saturday, the challenge facing Lancaster is to lift spirits as quickly as possible.
"It will be difficult to pick the players up initially, but I'm confident of the impact it will have when I show them the tape of the game," he said.
"We showed great character, but the skill and execution and lines of running were also good.
"We'll take plenty of positives from that and we'll be able to get them in the right place because clearly Scotland away is a massive game."