Stuart Lancaster (Gallo)
London - England coach Stuart Lancaster
knows the consequences of failure if his side are beaten by Australia in a
Rugby World Cup 'Pool of Death' clash at Twickenham on Saturday.
Defeat will see England, who suffered an
agonising 28-25 loss to Wales last weekend, become the first world championship
hosts to fail to reach the knockout stages.
Australia, two-time World Cup winners, who
come into the tournament as one of the most in-form sides with stars such as
full back Israel Folau sense they can beat the English.
England have won three of the five World
Cup encounters between the two nations, including a famous victory in the 2003
final over Australia. A classic match is promised.
"We're obviously aware of what is at
stake - you don't have to be a rocket scientist to work it out," said
Lancaster who, controversially, was given a contract extension beyond the 2019
World Cup in Japan by the Rugby Football Union last year.
"The fact is that if we don't win on
Saturday then we won't go through from the pool stage.
"I understand the consequences, I
understand the accountability and responsibility for delivering in this World
Cup, 100 percent. There's no hiding away from it."
He added: "The picture would be
completely different on Saturday night after a win. The old analogy that a week
is a long time in sport is absolutely true in this case."
England, changing their midfield line-up
yet again, have recalled Jonathan Joseph at outside centre after he missed the
Wales defeat with a chest injury.
Brad Barritt has returned to inside centre,
with rugby league convert Sam Burgess dropped to the bench in a match where
Owen Farrell again starts at fly-half after a flawless goal-kicking display
against the Welsh.
"Owen Farrell's performance against
Wales was excellent. He gave us what we were looking for - his defensive
strength and qualities but his kicking game was excellent," Lancaster
"There's a black and white assumption
people have made that if George Ford plays we play fantastic, creative,
attacking rugby and when Owen Farrell plays we don't. I don't subscribe to that
Up front, No 8 Ben Morgan and lock Joe
Launchbury start in place of the injured Billy Vunipola and Courtney Lawes
England prop Joe Marler has found himself
in the spotlight this week after Bob Dwyer, coach of the Australia side that
beat England in the 1991 World Cup final, accused him of scrummaging illegally.
Lancaster was having none of it.
"I think our scrum has been good,
honest and excellent across the last three years," he said.
Australia, who won this year's southern
hemisphere Rugby Championship, boast an array of back-line talent including
Folau, playmaker Matt Giteau and scrumhalf Will Genia.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has tried to
insist that England, who've won last two Tests against Australia on the back of
a powerful forward effort, believe his side have a "weak" pack.
"No I don't," said Lancaster.
"They've improved but I think we can put pressure on them. They've got two
very, very good breakdown experts (Michael Hooper and David Pocock)."
Cheika, who on Thursday named the same team
that beat Fiji 28-13 in Australia's opening game, said: "They (England)
have done it to us, they've stuck it to us (in the pack) the last couple of
times so there's nothing we can say in our room that's going to make any
"The only place things are going to be
different is on the field on Saturday night and that's where we've got to show
Several England players have suggested
Saturday's match is now their 'World Cup final' but Cheika said: "It is
tournament play. I don’t think you can all of a sudden decide 'it's the final,
we had better play'."