- Martin Johnson explains his Samoa selections on RFU.com
- Continuity is important to get the best out of this side says team manager
Martin Johnson says he has picked the best possible side to face Samoa in the third Investec International this Saturday, after making four alterations to his starting line up. The England team manager believes continuity is important to get the best out of his squad and has kept changes to a minimum.
After Johnson’s side achieved a record 35-18 victory over Australia last week, flankers Hendre Fourie and James Haskell, prop David Wilson and centre Matt Banahan have all come into the starting XV.
Speaking about the selection, Johnson said: "It’s about England and Samoa; they’re a very dangerous side and could’ve won that game last week in Ireland. They’ve got our full attention and this is the best team for this game.
"The team is doing well and there’s good depth beneath that. We want to keep the continuity going as one of the beneficial things recently is that we’ve had the same team for four or five games and you’ve seen the rewards of that."
Johnson also touched on England’s fine attacking performance in the defeat of Australia – England’s highest points total against the Wallabies – adding that it was the result of much hard work in training.
"That performance didn’t come out of the clouds, it was the build-up of what we’ve been doing for a while," he added.
"Last week a lot of people were talking about Australia, and rightly so after the performances they’ve put in, but no-one really spoke about our attacking game so we were in a good place mentally last week and need to be there again. Samoa is a different challenge, but just as difficult."