Lancaster cursing bad luck

2014-11-03 17:30
Stuart Lancaster (AFP)

London - As England's injuries continue to stack up ahead of Saturday's game with world champions New Zealand, coach Stuart Lancaster says his side have been the victims of "bad luck" after the loss of several forwards.

With regular forwards Alex Corbisiero, Mako Vunipola, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole and Geoff Parling already out of this month's Test matches, second row Joe Launchbury has become the latest to withdraw due to a neck problem.

Northampton backs Luther Burrell and Stephen Myler have also been ruled out of the Twickenham match against the All Blacks.

Bath's Dave Attwood is expected to start in the second row alongside Courtney Lawes while uncapped Leicester lock Graham Kitchener has been called into the squad to replace Launchbury.

"It is strange the injuries have all come in similar positions but they are all slightly different in nature so I don't think there is a pattern," Lancaster told Sky Sports television on Monday.

"It's bad luck but the positives are that injuries open up the door for others to impress."

Lancaster has been boosted by the return of props David Wilson and Joe Marler while Harlequins wing Marland Yarde (ankle) and Bath centre Kyle Eastmond (rib) are also back in contention.

New Zealand recorded a clean sweep of victories over England in a three-match series in June but with next year's World Cup drawing ever nearer, Lancaster wants his side to show signs of improvement against the All Blacks on Saturday.

"It's about the players' ability to translate what we're doing in training into the arena," he said.

"It's a huge game against the world champions and we want to put on a show for 80 000 fans.

"That's what we're looking forward to. The players will be ready. It's been limited preparation time and it's been a bit disrupted with injuries but we'll be ready on Saturday."

Read more on:    stuart lancaster  |  rugby

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