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Lancaster already pondering changes

2015-09-19 11:57
Stuart Lancaster (Gallo)

Twickenham - Two try hero Mike Brown may be certain of his place in England's next World Cup match, but England coach Stuart Lancaster could make changes for the clash with Wales.

Lancaster said several replacements had made a strong case to start the next Pool A match after impressing in the 35-11 win over Fiji to start the tournament.

Mike Brown was the hero with a try in each half. But supersub Billy Vunipola, who scored the fourth try to snare a key bonus point, typified the change after several replacements were made.

"We always select one game at a time and the the bench really put their hands up and that's what you want them to do," said Lancaster.

"With the quality of the team coming up against next week we need to be at our best and it's a big challenge against Wales."

It was only deep in the final quarter that the Twickenham crowd of more than 80,000 saw England really pull away from the Pacific islanders.

For large parts of the match, England were dominated up front, but the arrival of Vunipola, his brother Mako, Owen Farrell and hard-charging rugby league convert Sam Burgess helped revitalise Lancaster's men.- England seek improvement -

The substitutes certainly did their chances of facing Wales at Twickenham next Saturday no harm after providing some much needed impetus against a physically imposing Fiji side.

"The key messages are to play in the right areas of the field, trust the game will come to us and be more direct. We were too lateral in the first half and the players realised that," said Lancaster.

"Billy, Mako and Sam came on and did well for us, provided quicker ball and that proved the difference in the end.

"We need to improve, that's no doubt, but had we been offered four tries and the bonus point I would absolutely have taken that at the start of the game."

And he insisted Pacific Nations Cup champions Fiji, who knocked Wales out of the 2007 World Cup in France, would be handful for all the other sides in Pool A.

"I think Fiji will cause every team problems. They play Australia next and then have an eight-day break before Wales."

Lancaster added lock Geoff Parling, who was replaced by Joe Launchbury, had come off with a "mild stinger" but said he expected the second row to be fit to face Wales.

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