HAVE YOUR SAY: Welcome selection posers face Lancaster ahead of Irish

England coach Stuart Lancaster.England coach Stuart Lancaster.
England coach Stuart Lancaster.
Stuart Lancaster believes England proved by convincingly beating Scotland that their win over New Zealand was no fluke – but has promised there is more to come from his team.

England soundly defeated a fired-up Scottish side 38-18 at Twickenham thanks to a virtuoso display by fly-half Owen Farrell and tries from Chris Ashton, debutant Billy Twelvetrees, Geoff Parling and Danny Care.

Scotland had sown seeds of doubt in people’s minds on the eve of the Six Nations opener that England were not as good as their hammering of the All Blacks last time out suggested.

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But while it was by no means a polished performance by Lancaster’s men, they showed enough ambition, desire and strength in a routine Calcutta Cup win to suggest they are on the verge of something special.

Lancaster said: “Hopefully, we’ve shown we can back up the All Blacks game and have a consistency that perhaps people doubted we have, but, equally, we recognise we have a lot to do to improve on that performance.

“We need to be better for the Ireland game.

“I’d have taken that scoreline at the start of the day, we always knew Scotland would be difficult opponents to play against but our intent to play, our ability to retain possession and generate quickball really stretched them.”

The former Leeds coach continued: “We’re a little bit frustrated that we didn’t put one or two more points on them.

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“There’s also the underlying frustration that we conceded some sloppy tries and gave them soft penalties on things like restarts that we won’t be able to do next week because we’ll get punished.”

Thoughts have already turned to Sunday’s game in Dublin against an Ireland side who began in a similarly impressive manner by beating Wales in Cardiff.

Lancaster has a number of selection quandaries, not least whether to bring back Manu Tuilagi for impressive rookie Twelvetrees.

“I’ve got a headache, that’s for sure,” said Lancaster.

“My mind always drifts very quickly onto the next game and we’re pretty confident Manu is going to be fit so that will give me some decisions. But they’re good decisions to have.

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“A lot of lads played well from the bench. There’s certainly no doubt about the impact a bench has, we saw that today.

“In every position, you need two quality players, if not three, and I think we’re generating that now.

“With lots of players putting in good performances, we’ve got competition in pretty much every position.”

Care could have done enough to oust Ben Youngs at scrum-half, while, equally, Dylan Hartley could take over from Tom Youngs at hooker.

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Ben Morgan will today have a scan on an ankle strain that cut the rampaging No 8 down early on in Saturday’s game, with James Haskell waiting in the wings.

Whoever gets the nod, England appear to have the depth to challenge for a first grand slam in a decade, with next Sunday offering a real test of their credentials.

Lancaster said: “Two years ago, England were beaten comprehensively over in Ireland. The way they raise their game against us will make it a really tough game for us.

“But we can draw a lot of confidence from today’s performance. We’re only a young side but we showed a lot of maturity in the way we managed the game.

“Ireland away is a special place to go and we need to be sure we’re ready.”

Match report and more rugby union: Pages 8 & 9.