- Lancaster pinpoints key areas for Eden Park clash
- England Head Coach looks forward to the "ultimate physical test"
After naming his match-day 23 to face New Zealand at Eden Park on Saturday, Stuart Lancaster spoke exclusively to RFUtv about what it will take to end the All Blacks' 32-game unbeaten run in Auckland.
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"We’ve got to get everything right for 80 minutes. You can’t get it right for 65, 70 or 75 minutes – it has to be all the way through. Your scrum and set-piece have to be good, your breakdown has to be good, your kicking game must be excellent and in attack you have to be a threat.
"You need to score points when you can and you need to defend well. It’s an all-court game you have to get right to beat the All Blacks."
Facing up to All Black superstars
"They will come out firing for the first Test. They have a lot of players who are in form from the Super 15 and, bar Kieran Read, they are pretty much at full strength.
"We have some players whose season finished a week ago, some whose season finished five weeks ago. It’s a completely different scenario but I’m not going to complain about it – I trust the players we’ve got and hopefully I’ll have some tough selection decisions to make."
Sharp at the start
"I’m not sure we stood off them in 2013, but they definitely took their opportunities early doors and put us under pressure.
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"The start and gaining momentum in the game is hugely important. But it’s maintaining that – understanding that the intensity has to stay there. It’s the ultimate physical challenge. We’re asking players to deliver for 80 minutes."
Being brave with ball in hand
"You can’t sit there and absorb the pressure and think you are going to win – you’re doomed to failure if you do that. You’ve got to play rugby and impose your own game on them.
"We’ve shown in the RBS 6 Nations that we can do that, so we have to keep that mind-set going into this game."
An improved England
"The Six Nations was testament to how far we’ve come because we really developed our attacking game. Defence was always a big point of difference for us. Going back to the All Blacks game, we played pretty well that day but there were some lessons learned and things we realised we could improve.
"We’ve done that over the Six Nations but that doesn’t count for much two days away from this game. It’s all about the here and now."