England

Lancaster shrugs off Woodward blast

Tue, 05 Nov 2013 13:40
Stuart-lancaster-gestures Stuartlancaster7
There's no pleasing some people, is there?
Quote-end

England coach Stuart Lancaster ruled out wholesale changes for the Test against Argentina despite stinging criticism from Clive Woodward of the team's win over Australia.

Woodward, who guided England to World Cup Final victory over Australia in 2003, saw Lancaster's men come from behind to beat the Wallabies 20-13 at Twickenham last Saturday, having been seven points down at half-time.

That led Woodward to blast the first 40 minutes as "one of the worst first halves I can remember watching at Twickenham".

Former England centre Woodward, in his Daily Mail column, slammed Lancaster and his staff by saying: "It's not the personnel, it is the way England are playing, and speed of play comes down to the coaches. We are not throwing down the gauntlet at Twickenham like we used to when it was a fortress. If England have any aspirations to be the No.1 ranked team in the world, they have to play in a very different way and speed of ball is top of the list."

Lancaster, whose team that played the Wallabies was without five injured British and Irish Lions, responded to criticism of the way they beat Australia by saying: "There's no pleasing some people, is there?"

He added: "We'll make the decision over the next 24-48 hours, but I'm not envisaging too many changes."

England beat the Pumas 2-0 in a two-Test series in Argentina in June and, on paper, the South Americans are the weakest opponents they will face in a November series that concludes with the visit of world champions New Zealand to Twickenham.

"Having played Argentina in the summer, we found them pretty difficult to break down, particularly in the second Test," he said.

"Their performances in the Rugby Championship have shown that on their day they can push the top two or three teams in the world very close.

"We'll take them on merit and give them the credit they deserve as a proud rugby playing nation."

AFP

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