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SIX NATIONS 2013: England XV to play France

Tuilagi recalled by Lancaster in one of three changes made by England for Le Crunch

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

10:45 GMT, 21 February 2013

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UPDATED:

12:15 GMT, 21 February 2013

Stuart Lancaster has urged England to vary their attack against France after confirming his team for Saturday’s RBS Six Nations match at Twickenham.

As predicted by Sportsmail this week England’s head coach has decided to make three changes for the third match en route to a possible Grand Slam.

Following the win over Ireland, Lancaster this morning announced he had recalled centre Manu Tuilagi, hooker Dylan Hartley and flanker Courtney Lawes.

Centre of attention: Manu Tuilagi runs with the ball during England training at Pennyhill Park on Tuesday

Centre of attention: Manu Tuilagi runs with the ball during England training at Pennyhill Park on Tuesday

ENGLAND TEAM TO FACE FRANCE:

15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Mike Brown, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Joe Marler, 2 Dylan Hartley, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Joe Launchbury, 5 Geoff Parling, 6 Courtney Lawes, 8 Tom Wood, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain).

Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 David Wilson, 19 James Haskell, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 Danny Care, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Billy Twelvetrees.

All three were substitutes in the win
in Dublin and replace Billy Twelvetrees, Tom Youngs and James Haskell
who are all on the bench this time.

Lancaster is looking to use the
firepower of the trio to tackle a French team who have had endure a
disastrous Six Nations so far in losing to Italy and Wales.

Lancaster explained: ‘We thought long and hard about changing a winning team which did so well against Ireland.

‘But we believe that Dylan, Courtney
and Manu are ready for the opportunity and allow us to vary our play,
while the bench will add impact and energy as the game unfolds in the
second half.

‘The players are really looking
forward to getting back to Twickenham. The atmosphere in the stadium is
fantastic and hopefully the crowd can get behind us in what is sure to
be a great challenge against a motivated and physical French team.’

Meanwhile, France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has made eight changes to his starting line-up for Saturday's match.

Making way: Billy Twelvetrees will be on the bench at Twickenham despite his superb show against Scotland

Making way: Billy Twelvetrees will be on the bench at Twickenham despite his superb show against Scotland

FRANCE TEAM TO FACE ENGLAND:

15 Yoann Huget, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Benjamin Fall, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Morgan Parra;
1 Thomas Domingo, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 3 Nicolas Mas, 4 Christophe Samson, 5 Yoann Maestri, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Thierry Dusautoir (captain).

Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski,
17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Luc Ducalcon,
19 Jocelino Suta, 20 Antonie Claassen,
21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Frederic Michalak, 23 Florian Fritz.

Saint-Andre has opted for a new half-back pairing, with Morgan Parra and Francois Trinh-Duc replacing Maxime Machenaud and Frederic Michalak following Les Bleus' 16-6 defeat against Wales at the Stade de France 12 days ago.

Vincent Clerc returns on the right wing, with Wesley Fofana switching to his preferred role of centre for the Twickenham encounter.

Saint-Andre's team head to England after losing their opening two Five or Six Nations games for the first time since 1982.

Wales' success in Paris followed a 23-18 loss in Italy six days previously, meaning the wooden spoon has now become a distinct possibility for the pre-tournament favourites.

'After two defeats in the tournament, we wanted competition and freshness in the squad,' Saint-Andre said. 'We have to have the freshness and enthusiasm.

'We will prepare a lot of fight in Twickenham.'

6 Nations: Alex Goode says England are always pantomime villains

The Six Nations has so much history… but England are always the pantomime villains

By
Alex Goode

PUBLISHED:

01:57 GMT, 2 February 2013

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UPDATED:

01:57 GMT, 2 February 2013

This is my first appearance in the Six Nations and I’m very excited to be involved in it at last.

The tournament has so much history and for as long as I can remember England have been seen as pantomime villains.

Part of the tradition seems to be for pundits from other nations to talk about how much they dislike the English and accuse us of arrogance, and that has happened again this week. I’m not sure why but it occurs in lots of sports. In football, everyone wants to beat Manchester United, for example.

Breakthrough: Alex Goode is getting ready to play in his first Six Nations

Breakthrough: Alex Goode is getting ready to play in his first Six Nations

It often comes across as if all the passion in these games comes from the other side, not England. People talk about all this passion Scotland have, but the English are passionate too. When we play against the Scots, of course we want to beat them. We would hate to lose against them. It’s not something we ever want to deal with. It’s the same with every team we play against.

I don’t have hatred for any other countries, but I definitely hate losing. I would hate to be involved in a game that led to stories in years to come when people talk about a famous Scottish victory against England. That would wind me up.

No-one likes losing and that can be what produces the passion. I know that me and Owen (Farrell), for example, are extremely competitive, whether it’s in training or playing for Saracens or England. We both hate to lose. We want to be the best and that drives us to try to get to the top.

Preparation: Goode (right) trains with debutant Billy Twelvetrees ahead of the Six Nations opener against Scotland

Preparation: Goode (right) trains with debutant Billy Twelvetrees ahead of the Six Nations opener against Scotland

We needed a bit of passion to beat New Zealand. I just remember how loud the crowd was that day, and I have never been part of a team that was more fired up. That showed we can be a passionate people too. That win against New Zealand was great, but we can’t make too big a deal of it.

As players, we would rather there wasn’t such a fuss because we want that standard to be our norm. We can only achieve that if we bring the same level of intensity to our performance against Scotland – an intensity they will struggle to match.

I’m relieved that I recovered from a shoulder injury to play. I was out for more than a month and the first reaction from the boys was that I had become ‘big-time’ and didn’t fancy playing in winter. When I used to play with Thomas Castaignede at Saracens, he would come out on a wintry day and say: ‘No electricity. No electrics in Thomas. Thomas don’t train!’ Then he’d walk back inside. So the lads said that about me and how I have changed!

Famous: Goode impressed during England's 38-21 win over New Zealand

Famous: Goode impressed during England's 38-21 win over New Zealand

It was tough when I realised the injury was worse than expected. It knocked me a bit, then it was a race against time, putting the hours in. Luckily, I came through a game for Saracens to prove my fitness.

You know there are always going to be people pushing you for that shirt. I’d had to wait longer than most to get my shot, before I made my Test debut in South Africa last summer, so I didn’t want to let it go. A year ago, I wouldn’t have imagined starting a Calcutta Cup game at Twickenham, but now I’m raring to go.

We have gone from being underdogs against New Zealand to favourites for this game. Everyone expects us to win – pundits and the public, but Scotland are bouncing back from a bad loss and they’ve got new coaches in Scott Johnson and Dean Ryan and they’ll be fired up to impress, which makes them dangerous.

This will be a dog-fight, but I’m hopeful we can win.

Owen Farrell starts for England v New Zealand

Farrell starts in place of injured Flood as Lancaster names England XV to face All Blacks

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UPDATED:

10:15 GMT, 29 November 2012

England will give Owen Farrell his first international start since June in Saturday’s visit of world champions New Zealand to Twickenham.

Farrell was today named by head coach Stuart Lancaster in an England team aiming to topple New Zealand for the first time since 2003. He is the only change to the team who started last Saturday’s 15-16 defeat by South Africa.

The fly half continues after taking over from Toby Flood, who injured his toe, early in the second half against South Africa.

Starting role: Farrell has been used as a replacement this autumn

Starting role: Farrell has been used as a replacement this autumn

He will be winning his 12th cap and a first start since the opening Test of the summer series against South Africa last June.

Lancaster has also made two changes to his list of substitutes by bringing in Northampton lock Courtney Lawes for Saracens’ Mouritz Botha and Gloucester’s fly half Freddie Burns for the promoted Farrell.

An upbeat Lancaster believes England produced a much better performance against South Africa after also losing to Australia the previous week.

He said: 'We asked for a big response
from the players after Australia and we got one last Saturday against
South Africa, although ultimately we were denied.

Debut chance: Burns is likely to be used from the bench

Debut chance: Burns is likely to be used from the bench

England (v New Zealand, Twickenham, Saturday, 2.30):

Goode (Saracens); Ashton
(Saracens), Tuilagi (Leicester), Barritt (Saracens), Brown
(Harlequins); Farrell (Saracens), Ben Youngs (Leicester); Corbisiero
(London Irish), Tom Youngs (Leicester), Cole (Leicester), Parling
(Leicester), Launchbury (Wasps), Wood (Northampton), Robshaw
(Harlequins, capt), Morgan (Gloucester).

Subs: Paice (London Irish),
Vunipola (Saracens), Wilson (Bath), Lawes (Northampton), Haskell
(Wasps), Care (Harlequins), Joseph (London Irish), Burns (Gloucester).

'That frustration has been channelled this week and the whole squad has reacted with a determination to get a victory against the top team in the world.

'We are delighted that Courtney has got an opportunity. He has worked hard to get back in contention and what better game for him to make an impact.

'The same with Freddie Burns, who has had a great Premiership season so far, and we are looking forward to seeing him contribute should he get his chance.'

Chris Ashton back for England against Australia

Ashton the only change as winger returns for England against Australia

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UPDATED:

10:20 GMT, 15 November 2012

Chris Ashton will return to the international stage against Australia on Saturday after his one-match ban which ruled him out of England's opening autumn Test against Fiji.

The recall of the explosive Saracens wing is the only change in an England team who are looking to continue winning ways after defeating Fiji last Saturday, 54-12.

As reported by Sportsmail this morning, Ashton takes over in his normal position of right wing while Gloucester's Charlie Sharples, who scored two tries against Fiji, moves to the left flank in place of Ugo Monye.

Welcome back: Chris Ashton is named in the England XV to face the Aussies at Twickenham

Welcome back: Chris Ashton is named in the England XV to face the Aussies at Twickenham

England team v Australia

Goode (Saracens); Ashton (Saracens),
Tuilagi (Leicester), Barritt (Saracens), Sharples (Gloucester); Flood
(Leicester), Care (Harlequins); Marler (Harlequins), Tom Youngs
(Leicester), Cole (Leicester), Palmer (Wasps), Parling (Wasps), Johnson
(Exeter), Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), Waldrom (Leicester)

Subs: Paice
(London Irish), Wilson (Bath), Vunipola (Saracens), Launchbury (Wasps),
Wood (Northampton), Ben Youngs (Leicester), Farrell (Saracens), Brown
(Harlequins)

Ashton missed the Fiji match because of a ban imposed after he collected three yellow cards for dangerous play since the start of the season in Premiership games for Saracens.

The third came last month in his first return to Northampton, his former club, since he left for Saracens last summer.

His poor disciplinary record has brought a rebuke from head coach Stuart Lancaster this week that he must improve his tackling technique.

Lancaster stressed in announcing his team on Thursday that his coaching team had thought long and hard before deciding on making just one change.

He explained: 'To select 23 from a squad of 30 plus who have trained so well, with such intensity and focus, was difficult but it's a good position to be in.

'The 'team first' mentality of all our squad has impressed us greatly. We were pleased with lots of aspects of our performance last week.

On the move: Charlie Sharples switches to the left after scoring two tries against Fiji

On the move: Charlie Sharples switches to the left after scoring two tries against Fiji

'But we know we need to improve this week and, by having some consistency in selection, we allow those players to demonstrate we can step up to the next level against what will be a very tough Australian side.'

Lancaster hopes the expected capacity crowd of 82,000 will get behind England again.

'The crowd at Twickenham last week were brilliant and we can't wait to get back there and take part in what I am sure will be a very exciting Test match.'addCustomPlayer('heicdtovt78m17bvybbez1kgu', '', '', 636, 480, 'perfheicdtovt78m17bvybbez1kgu', 'eplayer16');

Stuart Lancaster will change England up for Australia challenge

Ruthless Lancaster will change England up for Aussie challenge in bid to find top gear

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UPDATED:

23:24 GMT, 11 November 2012

From a coaching perspective, the scenario is perfect. A half-century of points and seven tries to ignite this autumn campaign, but enough glitches along the way to ensure England’s players will be subjected to a harsh post-mortem.

Stuart Lancaster and his assistants have the luxury of conducting a critical review on the back of a rousing victory. They will have ample ammunition at their disposal to ensure the feet of their squad are kept fixed to the floor. Five days before confronting wounded Wallabies, this is no time for back-slapping.

‘I don’t think there is any danger of us getting carried away,’ said England’s head coach. Nor should there be.

Tough call: Charlie Sharples nearly had a hat-trick of tries against Fiji but could lose his place to Chris Ashton

Tough call: Charlie Sharples nearly had a hat-trick of tries against Fiji but could lose his place to Chris Ashton

He added: ‘You only have to look at the players in the changing room — they were quite pleased with the performance but they weren’t shouting from the rooftops.

‘We recognise the challenges ahead and we know we’ll have to up our game to win next week.’

It is absolutely vital for England’s prospects in the next three weeks that all the holes in their performance in this first QBE International against sadly poor opposition are laid bare. For all the gloss of the final scoreline and the undoubted class of some of the home side’s attacking craft on Saturday, there are issues to address. The video screening on Monday will illuminate several gremlins.

LIONS WATCH

Full back Alex Goode produced ample evidence that he should be a contender for next summer’s tour, with a man-of-the-match performance full of guile and nous.

Captain Chris Robshaw was typically full of energy and endeavour, without dramatically advancing his own case for selection, while Danny Care showcased the speed and eye for a gap which would be such an asset in Australia.

Manu Tuilagi is another who took a positive step in the right direction with his power running, his improved distribution and his tries.

Before the eulogies, let’s tackle what the management would term the ‘work-ons’. First of all, England were dreadful for almost the entire first quarter; conceding the initiative to their outclassed rivals and failing to regain it in a hurry. After 15 minutes they had claimed 19 per cent of the possession, they were hemmed in their own half, they fell off a few tackles and had to scramble feverishly to defend their line.

Even when that slow start had been worked out of the collective system, Lancaster’s men were not as slick as they should have been after a fortnight of painstaking preparation. Too often passes were sent high or wide of their intended recipient, or simply released too soon, the re-start was a mess throughout and there were some moments of dubious decision-making, such as when Dan Cole ignored an overlap on the right, ploughed on to the line but was held up.

On the back of a robust, probing review, it is equally crucial that selection this week is approached with a critical eye and a ruthless streak. The old mantra about not changing a winning team can be dismissed as a red herring in this instance.

Expanding repertoire: Centre Manu Tuilagi bagged a brace of tries of Twickenham on Saturday

Expanding repertoire: Centre Manu Tuilagi bagged a brace of tries of Twickenham on Saturday

There is a case to consider several changes, with Chris Ashton available again after his one-game ban, leaving one of Saturday’s try-scoring wings, Ugo Monye and Charlie Sharples, vulnerable to a cruel cut. Sharples struck twice, very nearly had a hat-trick and was particularly dangerous and dynamic, but he — like Ashton — favours the right flank, which may count against him.

Elsewhere, Thomas Waldrom was heavily involved but not a dominant, marauding presence at No 8, so Ben Morgan should be in strong contention to replace him. Tom Wood was sufficiently prominent in the closing stages to give Lancaster cause to consider starting him ahead of Tom Johnson.

In the front row, Joe Marler went off early in the second half after suffering a back spasm and despite his forceful scrummaging contribution, Alex Corbisiero has a chance to usurp him at loosehead. Rookie lock Joe Launchbury could further reduce the cap-count by taking over from his Wasps team-mate Tom Palmer.

Lancaster indicated that he is ready to make tough calls by removing men who featured strongly in this emphatic win.

Man of the match: England full back Alex Goode (second left) started the autumn internationals in style

Man of the match: England full back Alex Goode (second left) started the autumn internationals in style

‘The selection philosophy will always be to pick the best side we can to win the next game,’ he said. ‘If that means players retain the shirt or other players will get opportunities, then that’s what we will do.

‘With the likes of Alex Corbisiero, Chris Ashton and Jonathan Joseph coming back into the equation, we’ve got some decisions to make leading into the Australia game.’

For now, thrusting London Irish centre Joseph straight back into the starting midfield seems an unnecessary disruption. On Saturday, Brad Barritt displayed more of his attacking qualities and Manu Tuilagi alongside him was typically effective in generating precious momentum, while also showing an improved awareness of support runners around him. There were several off-loads from the Anglo-Samoan Tiger; some effective and some on the wild side, but he is certainly expanding his repertoire.

Choices: Thomas Waldrom (centre) faces a fight to keep his place at No 8 ahead of Ben Morgan

Choices: Thomas Waldrom (centre) faces a fight to keep his place at No 8 ahead of Ben Morgan

Having shone a bright light on England’s shortcomings, it is only fair to emphasise that these were far outweighed by lots of encouraging aspects against Fiji. While the Pacific Island side were able to claim two tries, the home defence was largely rock solid, as was the set-piece work, with the scrum in total command and debutant hooker Tom Youngs’ line-out throwing in perfect working order.

Best of all, Alex Goode at full back delivered a majestic performance to enhance England’s attacking potency significantly. He popped up at various points in the line, running cleverly, using his deft footwork to good effect and sharing the playmaker’s load with Toby Flood.

Once the first-quarter problems had been rectified the hosts swept away from Fiji. Sharples cut inside and twisted through several tackles for his first strike, the home pack won a penalty try with their dominant scrum and Goode’s quick tap penalty allowed Monye to glide over on the left just before the break. In the second half, crisp handling from Goode and Chris Robshaw allowed Johnson to apply a simple finish on the right, then Sharples pounced on the opposite wing and Tuilagi punished a tiring Fiji defence with his brace late on.

Hair-raising: The unmistakable figure of Joe Marler may lose his spot in the front row to Alex Corbisiero

Hair-raising: The unmistakable figure of Joe Marler may lose his spot in the front row to Alex Corbisiero

The fact that Manasa Saulo’s try gave the visitors a consolation and the last word in this game will be one of those issues addressed in today’s review.

England are up and running, but they must reach greater heights when the serious business starts in five days’ time.

England ratings

England ratings

England 54 Fiji 12: Stuart Lancaster"s side rue missed chances

England 54 Fiji 12: Lancaster's young side in control but rue missed chances

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UPDATED:

00:04 GMT, 11 November 2012

England may have run up a half-century of points with seven tries and a record winning margin against Fiji, but this was no brave new dawn for Stuart Lancaster's side.

The reality is that while England had valid reasons for producing a rusty performance – injuries ruling out half-a-dozen first-choice players – this was as poor a Fiji team as they have fielded in five meetings with their hosts.

Two-try hero: Manu Tuilagi went over twice at Twickenham

Two-try hero: Manu Tuilagi went over twice at Twickenham

Match facts

England: Goode; Sharples, Tuilagi, Barritt, Monye; Flood, Care; Marler, Youngs, Cole, Parling, Palmer, Johnson, Robshaw, Waldron.

Replacements: Paice (65 for T Youngs), Wilson (58 for Cole), Vunipola (46 for Marler), Launchbury (50 for Palmer), Tom Wood (59 for Johnson), B Youngs (58 for Care), Farrell (59 for Flood), Brown (59 for Monye)

Try: Sharples 2, Monye, Johnson, Tuilagi 2. Cons: Flood 4, Farrell. Pens: Flood 3.

Sin bin: Care (10).

Fiji: Koniferedi; Wara, Goneva, Naqelevuki, Votu; Talebula, Matawalu; Makutu, Veikoso, Manu, Nakawara, Ratuniyarawa, Naikatani, Ravulo, Qera.

Replacements: Naureure (47 for Veikoso), Samoca (not used), Saulo (67 for Manu), Kalou (73 for Ratuniyarawa), Ratuva (52 for Naikatini), Bola (not used), Matavesi (40 for Koniferedi), Fatiaki (67 for Wara).

Try: Matawalu, Kalou Con: Matavesi.

Sin bin: Manu (29).

Referee: G Jackson (New Zealand).

That may not be surprising, given
Fiji's absentees after sudden and convenient declarations of allegiance
to France, as well as injuries and visa problems, all of which resulted
in a team ranked 14th in the world having just one full training session
before this encounter at Twickenham.

But despite being ranked 10 places above them, England botched at least seven try-scoring opportunities.

Three were disallowed rightly by the
busy Television Match Official, Gareth Simmonds, two more were held up
and two thrown away by loose final passes.

Throw in the fact that it took 20
minutes before England took the lead – a Toby Flood penalty – in a first
quarter dominated by the South Sea islanders, who also missed two
penalties and almost scored two tries, and Lancaster and his coaching
team will have much to analyse in the cold light of day.

Does this all seem a little churlish
Fiji are an unknown quantity to an England team who last played them in
1999, while England, with three Test debutants in the match-day 23,
needed a good run-out before they take on the big three of Australia,
South Africa and New Zealand.

Maybe.

Make mine a double: Charlie Sharples scored two tries also

Make mine a double: Charlie Sharples scored two tries also

Versatlie: Man-of-the-match Alex Goode operated as a makeshift scrum-half with Danny Care sin-binned

Versatlie: Man-of-the-match Alex Goode operated as a makeshift scrum-half with Danny Care sin-binned

But the Wallabies next Saturday, let
alone the Springboks and All Blacks, will not give England anything
like the freedom afforded them by a Fiji team who ran out of steam well
before the final whistle.

England will need to convert their
chances if they are to come close to fulfilling Lancaster's wish of four
straight autumn wins.

So what are the positives

All 23 of the squad played at least a part, including reserve prop Mako Vunipola and reserve lock Joe Launchbury.

Motoring nicely: Ugo Monye's try pushed the score onto 25-0

Motoring nicely: Ugo Monye's try pushed the score onto 25-0

New hooker Tom Youngs made a more
than decent first start, carrying the ball with zest and producing a
flawless display at the lineout.

Flood, the most experienced player
in this callow England side with 51 caps to his name, kicked seven from
eight as he helped himself to 17 points; Charlie Sharples was within an
inch of scoring a hat-trick of tries, which will make the team selection
for Australia next week interesting with the suspended Chris Ashton
available; and Alex Goode followed up his confident first start as
full-back in Port Elizabeth five months ago with a man-of-the-match
performance.

Up and running: Charlie Sharples scored the opening try

Up and running: Charlie Sharples scored the opening try

High riser: Geoff Parling holds on as England win a lineout

High riser: Geoff Parling holds on as England win a lineout

The injured Ben Foden may have to start thinking about playing on the wing for England when he returns for the Six Nations.

When Flood kicked the first points
of the game, the decision to go for goal was received with the odd boo
by an already restless crowd.

/11/10/article-2230983-15F42C57000005DC-374_634x412.jpg” width=”634″ height=”412″ alt=”Tough to stop: Thomas Waldrom is tackled by Vereniki Goneva” class=”blkBorder” />

Tough to stop: Thomas Waldrom is tackled by Vereniki Goneva

Flood converted, then added a penalty, and after having barely been in the game for 26 minutes, England were 13 points up.

It should have been 20 seven minutes from the break, but Joe Marler's final pass to Brad Barritt missed his man.

Three minutes later, the prop made
some amends by playing his part in forcing referee Glen Jackson, the
former Saracens stand-off making his Test debut in charge, to award
England a penalty try after the increasingly dominant English pack
forced their counterparts to repeatedly collapse under their own posts.

When Ugo Monye then burst over
unopposed in the corner after Goode's quick tap in the dying seconds, a
half-time lead of 25-0 appeared about par, and with Flood adding a
penalty, Tom Johnson scoring his first Test try in his first home start
in the corner after receiving from the unselfish Chris Robshaw and Flood
converting inside 50 minutes, a cricket score was on the cards.

This did not quite materialise as England, in fairness, rang the changes.

Fiji scrum-half Nikola Matawalu
grabbed a try back, and although Sharples scored his second from a long,
floated pass from Flood and Manu Tuilagi bulldozed his way to two late
tries, it was Fiji who had the last word when replacement lock Seko
Kalou burrowed his way under the English posts.

Chris Robshaw: England can"t start slowly against Australia, South Africa or New Zealand

Robshaw warns England that the big three will not be so charitable about slow start

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UPDATED:

18:34 GMT, 10 November 2012

Chris Robshaw warned the England players that they cannot afford a slow start against the likes of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as the team did against Fiji at Twickenham.

Despite a comprehensive 54-12 win, Stuart Lancaster's side began poorly.

And captain Robshaw said: 'We were pretty slow coming out of the blocks today. We eventually warmed into the game but we cannot do that over the next three weeks.'

Held up: England were sluggish at the start against Fiji

Held up: England were sluggish at the start against Fiji

Lancaster agreed with Robshaw and said England had 'rusty areas' which need to be fixed before next week's clash against the Wallabies.

He told Sky Sports 2: 'Next week and the week after and the week after that we are going to have to be more clinical.'

Man-of-the-match Alex Goode said: “At the start we were a bit scrappy and there were a few errors.

'I thought when we hung on to the ball we created some good stuff.'

The test is yet to come: Stuart Lancaster's Eng;and face Australia next

The test is yet to come: Stuart Lancaster's Eng;and face Australia next

Lancaster paid tribute to the performances of Goode and Tom Youngs. Youngs came into the game under some pressure but performed well as hooker.

'He was under a bit of pressure coming into he game but he nailed every one (lineout),' said Lancaster.

LIVE: England v Fiji

England 33 Fiji 0: Follow all the action from Twickenham as it happens

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UPDATED:

15:52 GMT, 10 November 2012

England kick-off the QBE autumn internationals against Fiji where they can lay the foundations for a successful series involving the world's best teams. Stuart Lancaster's side are massive favourites for the opening clash at Twickenham and Sportsmail will bring you all the action as it happens.

England v Fji

ENGLAND – 15 Alex Goode, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Danny Care, 8 Joe Marler, 7 Tom Youngs, 6 Dan Cole, 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Geoff Parling , 3 Tom Johnson, 2 Chris Robshaw, 1 Thomas Waldrom.

Replacements: Paice, Wilson, Vunipola, Launchbury, Wood, Youngs, Farrell, Brown.

FIJI – 15 Simeli Koniferedi, 14 Samu Wara, 13 VEreniki Goneva, 12 Sireli Naqelevuki, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Metuisela Talebula, 9 Nikola Matawalu, 8 Akapusi Qera, 7 Malakai Ravulo, 6 Api Naikatini, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Viliame Veikoso, 1 Penijamini Makutu

Replacements: Somoca, Naureure, Manasa, Kalou, Ratuva, Bola, Fatiaki, Matavesi.

49min: CONVERSION! England 35 Fiji 0 (Toby Flood)

England must be buoyed by these early exchanges in the second-half. There are gaps appearing all over the field. The phrase I'm thinking of is: fill your boots.

49min: TRY! England 33 Fiji 0 (Tom Johnson)

Fourth try of the afternoon for England. Once again Fiji are sucked in and the hosts work it wide to Johnson who drops over the line, totally unopposed.

47min: England profligate in front of the try line. Danny Care shimmies and shakes, but is held up five metres short. And then Dan Cole goes over the lines but is turned round and held up.

43min: PENALTY! England 28 Fiji 0 (Toby Flood)

Straight forward effort for Flood who sends the ball over from 25 metres out.

42min: The scrum is once again proving to be a real problem for Fiji who collapse again all too easily. Penalty for England, Toby Flood stands over it.

SECOND-HALF: Suitably refreshed good. Toby Flood gets the match restarted.

HALF-TIME: ENGLAND 25 FIJI 0

A rusty start for Stuart Lancaster's charges, but once they found a modicum of rhythm the Fijians looked outclassed at every encounter. Job well done thus far, fancy it will be a very long next 40 for the Pacific Islanders.

42min: England 25 Fiji 0 (Ugo Monye)

Cherry on the cake for England as Monye shimmies his hips on the wing and crosses for an all-too-easy score. Flood's conversion effort rattles off the upright. And that is that.

38min: England unlucky not to score another try, Flood and Care right at the heart of all the positive play, the ball works wide, Sharples kicks forward and it looks like he's just got the ball down. But replays show the last bounce took the ball *this far* into touch.

37min: CONVERSION! England 20 Fiji 0 (Toby Flood)

Over it goes, England looking good for their lead now. One more score before half-time would round-off a decent first 40.

Contact: Waldrom is tackled by Qera

Contact: Waldrom is tackled by Qera

36min: PENALTY TRY! England 18 Fiji 0 England smell blood with a pair of scrums under the Fijians posts. The first collapses, the second is broken by the Fijian hooker and the referee has no option but to award a penalty try.

33min: Oh, good grief, what an absolute howler. England waste a guilt-edged chance to extend their lead further. Flood draws the defenders in, but the ball is worked wide and there a three man overlap, which is lobbed into touch somehow.

The view from Cardiff with Sportsmail's Luke Bendict: Well that's the end of a nightmare week for Jamie Roberts. He was desperate for an explosive return to Welsh rugby after it was announced this week that he'll quit Cardiff Blues this summer, but instead he hobbles off after a horrible clash of heads. He looked like he'd gone 12 rounds with Tyson. There was no way he could play on.

29min: YELLOW CARD! Now the Fijians are down to 14 after their captain is shown a yellow card for some rather cynical stuff in the ruck. And now he's put his side under huge pressure.

26min: PENALTY! England 13 Fiji 0 (Toby Flood)

England pile forward and there's a hand in the ruck by a Fiji player. Flood dips the ball over from no ore than 10 metres out. Stuart Lancaster's side have blown away the cobwebs now and are looking good.

23min: CONVERSION! England 10 Fiji 0 (Toby Flood)

England extend their lead, Flood makes no mistake.

22min: TRY! England 8 Fiji 0 (Charlie Sharples)

It's a great finish from Sharples who scores his first try for England, but Fiji will be kicking themselves. Tuilagi feeds Goode who hands to Sharples whose angled run cuts a swathe through the Fiji defence he brushes off three tackles and just makes it over the line.

21min: Danny Care returns and we're back to 15 v 15 again.

20min: PENALTY! England 3 Fiji 0 (Toby Flood)

Flood sends the ball over for the first three points of the match. Twickenham sighs with relief.

Sharp stuff: England finally get on the scoreboard courtesy of Sharples' try

Sharp stuff: England finally get on the scoreboard courtesy of Sharples' try

19min: Much, much, much (much) better phases from England. Workign the ball left and right, Flood nearly found the gap and Parling did his best to pile through. The up-shot England penalty… Flood stands over it.

17min: Fiji spun another decent penalty chance. England should be six-down inside the first 15. The crowd are getting restless, they want to see some quality in hand from their charges.

14min: England defending desperately deep inside their 22, Fiji pressing and probing for a weak spot. This is NOT a good start. Some respite for the hosts as Fiji make a hash of a scrum, Flood can lump clear.

12min: Real scare for England as the Fiji forwards cut a swathe through the heart of the England defence. Some last-ditch stuff from Tuilagi and Barritt halt the charge.

10min: Early blow for England as Danny Care is shown a yellow card for a spear tackle. We're shown the incident again and it looks like a mighty harsh decision.

(in other news: South Africa prop Tendai 'The Beast' Mtawarira was treated in hospital today after suffering mild heart palpitations – but we hear he has now left)

6min: It's all a bit scrappy in these early stages. Neither side retaining possession with much grace, England have steamrolled the visitors in the first scrum and Fiji wasted a very kickable penalty attempt.

2min: First lineout for Youngs to negotiate, which he does with without too much fuss.

KICK-OFF: Fiji start the match, it's knocked forward, England clear their lines…

2.28: How rude of me, we have the pleasure of watching the Fijians lay down the gauntlet with the 'Cibi' war dance before kick-off. Plenty of eyes bulging, and thigh slapping. They look like they mean it to me.

2.24: HQ is packed to the rafters. Huge expectation building ahead of kick-off. Players are in the tunnel, we'll have anthems, then action very soon. Tidy.

England expects: The fans are in good spirits ahead of kick-off at Twickenham

England expects: The fans are in good spirits ahead of kick-off at Twickenham

England expects: The fans are in good spirits ahead of kick-off at Twickenham

2.20: Huge focus on Tom Youngs at No 2 today. England's hooker will be at the heart of the lineout – have a butchers at Ben Kay's analysis of the fine art behind throwing.

2.15: Granted, Fiji aren't a team stacked with famous faces. If you're playing catch up, have a read of Rob Wildman's scouting report. Quick, kick-off is only 15 minutes away.

2.10: Stuart Lancaster says today is time for England to 'produce the goods'. Read Chris Foy's match preview right here.

2pm: Hello there, this is going to be a cake walk, right England begin their autumn internationals this afternoon against an under strength Fiji side at Rugby HQ – there's much talk of a victory margin of 50-plus. Nothing quite like setting yourself up for a fall.

Afternoon all and welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of England v Fiji from Twickenham. The hosts are massive favourites to put the Pacific Islanders to the sword and will be hoping to put on a show in front of the 82,000 fans packed into the stadium in south-west London.

I'll bring you all the action as it happens and you can fire your thoughts in this direction: [email protected] or you can Tweet.

England expects: Chris Robshaw will lead his team out against Fiji in the first of the Autumn Tests

England expects: Chris Robshaw will lead his team out against Fiji in the first of the Autumn Tests

Northampton 37 Worcester 31: Fightback falls short as hosts stay unbeaten

Northampton 37 Worcester 31: Fightback falls short as hosts stay unbeaten

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UPDATED:

16:49 GMT, 22 September 2012

Two tries from Luther Burrell saw
Northampton power to four wins out of four, but Worcester stormed back
to collect two points with four tries in a barely believable last 16
minutes.

Tries from Vasily Artemyev, Courtney Lawes and Mike Haywood saw Northampton secure the five points with less than an hour gone.

They then took their foot off the gas as Worcester ran in four tries in the final quarter to grab a very unlikely losing bonus.

Saints alive: Luther Burrell breaks through to score a second try

Saints alive: Luther Burrell breaks through to score a second try

Match facts

NORTHAMPTON: Tonga'uiha, Hartley, Doran-Jones, Manoa, Day, Lawes, Dowson, Oakley, Dickinson, Myler, Artemiev, Burrell, G Pisi, K Pisi, Wilson. Replacements: Haywood, Waller, Mujati, Sorenson, Wood, Glynn, Lamb, Waldouck.

Tries: Burrell 19, 24, Artemiev 30, Lawes 49, Haywood 60.

Conversions: Myler 19, 24, 49

Penalties: Myler 6, 11

WORCESTER: Mullan, Lutui, Andress, Percival, Schofield, Chris, Betty, Taulava, Perry, Goode, Lemi, Carlisle, Grove, Walker, Pennell. Replacements: Hayes, Jonesd, Currie, Gilles, Kvesic, Arr, Matavesi, Drauniniu.

Tries: Arr 64, Matavesi 66, Drauninui 74, Hayes 79.

Conversions: Goode 64, 66, 74, 79

Penalties: Goode 4

Att: 12,114

The home side showed their forward power in the maul early on, driving a penalty out of Worcester's pack and then stopping the Warriors' own effort at a lineout drive on their line.

Stephen Myler landed that penalty after Andy Goode had opened the scoring with three points on four minutes, and the Saints fly-half added a second penalty before Burrell opened the try-scoring with two in four minutes.

He had already shown some neat footwork before his first try on 20 minutes when he blitzed round the outside of flanker Chris Jones to run home from 25 metres.

His third in two home games saw Burrell step around the outside of centre Alex Grove.

Northampton's
best try was yet to come. Number eight Rhys Oakley broke off a scrum on
halfway and offloaded to Phil Dowson, who delivered a beautiful reverse
pass for Artemyev to finish off from 20 metres.

Twice
Worcester turned down the chance of three points to go for five, but
their handling was a constant let down and they went into the break 25-3
down.

Goode life: Worcester's Andy Goode sets a move flowing

Goode life: Worcester's Andy Goode sets a move flowing

Northampton wrapped up the bonus point nine minutes into the second half with Lawes, starting his first game since February 18, being sent over by the irrepressible Lee Dickson.

Burrell missed out on a hat-trick
when he decided to cut inside and slipped with the line at his mercy
before Ken Pisi dropped the ball on the line.

However, replacement hooker Mike Haywood eventually burrowed over for the fifth.

Catch me if you can: James Wilson on the run from the Warriors' defence

Catch me if you can: James Wilson on the run from the Warriors' defence

Myler missed a second conversion before being replaced as Northampton emptied their bench and their heads, with Ryan Lamb particularly poor.

Worcester took advantage of the home side switching off to run in two tries in two minutes from Jonny Arr and Josh Matavesi.

Arr attack warning: Worcester's Jonny Arr passes the ball from the scrum

Arr attack warning: Worcester's Jonny Arr passes the ball from the scrum

The Worcester bench had a huge impact, scoring all four tries with Josh Drauniniu sweeping over and then James Currie winning a crucial turnover for the Warriors to storm up field, win a penalty and see Ollie Hayes squirm over from the lineout.

More drama followed with Goode allowed to retake his missed conversion because Northampton charged too early and he landed it second time round to secure a losing bonus point with the last kick of the game.

As Worcester celebrated wildly it was hard to tell who had won.

Worcester 23 Bath 24: Olly Barkley kicks all his side"s points

Worcester 23 Bath 24: Barkley's boot to thank for narrow victory

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UPDATED:

18:24 GMT, 1 September 2012

Olly Barkley kicked all of Bath's points including a last-minute penalty to snatch a dramatic Aviva Premiership win over Worcester at Sixways.

Bath had not led until the 65th minute but even when home lock James Percival responded by crashing over for the only try of the game soon after, it was the accuracy of Barkley that proved decisive.

/09/01/article-2196880-14C965D9000005DC-213_468x322.jpg” width=”468″ height=”322″ alt=”Boot boy: Olly Barkley was in sparkling kicking form” class=”blkBorder” />

Boot boy: Olly Barkley was in sparkling kicking form

Worcester had raced out to a 12-0 with Goode initially solid with the boot as he slotted a 40-metre penalty in just the second minute.

Minutes later Bath offended in the ruck area and again the outside half was on target, this time from 35 metres.

The Warriors continued to dominate play and when Matt Banahan was penalised for not rolling away at a ruck, Goode converted his third penalty to give his side a 9-0 lead after only 10 minutes.

Worse was to follow for Banahan and Bath. The centre was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on and again Goode made no mistake with his penalty kick.

Banahan was soon joined in the sin-bin by rival captains, Stewart Hooper and Dean Schofield, who were yellow carded by young referee, Luke Pearce, after a substantial melee involving most of the forwards.

Tight: The match was gripping until the end

Tight: The match was gripping until the end

However, the Warriors failed to take advantage of their numerical superiority.

Barkley
reduced the arrears with the first of his eight penalties and Banahan
then returned with no damage done to his side's chances.

Goode should have restored Worcester's 12-point advantage but the outside half fired wide with a 30-metre drop-kick attempt.

Another error from the Warriors saw Josh Drauniniu fail to collect an up-and-under and another penalty was conceded for offside which Barkley kicked from 45 metres.

A simple penalty from Goode after 32 minutes made it 15-6 to the Warriors and they should have extended that lead when they blew the best try scoring opportunity of the half.

Goode, David Lemi and Josh Matavesi combined brilliantly in a sweeping 70-metre move but Lemi's scoring pass to Goode was ruled forward.

Bath scored the first points of the second half when Barkley was successful with a 45-metre penalty and the lead was soon down to three points with another simple goal from the outside half.

Crunch: James Percival is tackled

Crunch: James Percival is tackled

A handling error from Lemi and a powerful run from Banahan exerted more pressure on the Warriors defence and they conceded another penalty at the ruck area to allow Barkley to tie up the scores.

Bath were now the dominant side with Banahan becoming increasingly influential with his driving runs in midfield and they looked the more likely winners as the game entered the final quarter.

Barkley gave Bath the lead for the first time in the match with a 35-metre penalty after 65 minutes.

Stung by the reverse Worcester immediately brought on three replacements and it soon paid dividends when Percival drove over from close range but Goode's conversion rebounded back of a post which proved costly as Barkley was successful with his longest penalty of the game to give Bath a one-point lead with six minutes remaining.

Back came the Warriors to secure two penalties in the Bath 22, Goode surprisingly missed the first but kept his nerve to kick the second.

But with the last kick of the match Barkley made no mistake with his eighth penalty and with it an away victory.