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England 14:30 New Zealand

Six Nations: England coach Stuart Lancaster concerned about Wales momentum

Last Updated: 24/02/14 7:53am

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Stuart Lancaster: England head coach is concerned about Wales' momentum

Stuart Lancaster: England head coach is concerned about Wales' momentum

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England head coach Stuart Lancaster admits he is concerned about the momentum Wales have built ahead of their Twickenham showdown on March 9.

The Six Nations has reached an intriguing stage with four teams locked on four points and the likelihood of the championship being decided by points difference a very realistic one.

England complete their fixtures against Italy in Rome but the Wales clash could go a long way to establishing the outcome of this year's tournament.

Wales hit form on Friday night with a 27-6 rout of France in Cardiff and when asked if the British and Irish Lions-studded side will be at the peak of their powers when they face England, Lancaster said: "I think they will.

"They will have the confidence that win against France has given them and I'm sure they will be highly motivated coming to play us.

"They have threats all over the park - just look at Jamie Roberts and George North in the centres and also what Leigh Halfpenny can bring.

"Their forwards really turned up against France and performed well too. They dominated from the start.

"You can't start thinking about points difference or how many points you want to score, only about the quality of the opposition coming your way and how you set about winning the game.

"We've got it all on to win against a side full of British Lions who are big in confidence and have won the championship in the last two years."

Inner confidence

Lancaster was unusually animated during the win over Ireland, which was set up by a Danny Care try and sealed by a resilient defensive effort that ensured there would be no repeat of the late loss to France.

The head coach said his response was one based on relief and stressed the need to quickly re-focus on the Welsh threat.

"The character of the performance is the abiding memory for me. We will look back on it after the championship, but we can't dwell on it too long," he said.

"Subconsciously it will give our players that inner confidence. It never wavered after losing to New Zealand or France, but it is nice to have the direction we are going in reinforced by that performance.

"It was a tight game, a proper Test match. This has been a fantastic Six Nations."

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