Stuart Lancaster predicts England will prosper at Rugby World Cup

Stuart Lancaster is convinced England can win the World Cup despite presiding over a fourth successive runners-up finish in the RBS 6 Nations.

Stuart Lancaster predicts England will prosper at Rugby World Cup

New admirers were won as the Red Rose valiantly set about reaching the 26-point victory target required against France to depose Ireland as champions, running in seven tries in a breathtaking climax to the tournament.

Once again they fell agonisingly short, their chaotic 55-35 triumph falling six points short of the required total.

With the emotion generated by the heart-stopping final moments still swirling, Lancaster turned his attention to the looming World Cup on home soil which Ireland will enter as masters of Europe.

“We’re definitely still capable of winning the World Cup. This season we’ve beaten Australia, we’ve beaten Wales and we’ve put 55 points on France,” head coach Lancaster said.

“New Zealand we’ve beaten before and we pushed them close in the summer series, so absolutely (we can win the World Cup).

“Against France you could see the influence the crowd had on the players. Playing at home is a huge factor.

By toppling France, England have extended their triumphant run at Twickenham to five matches knowing that all but one of their World Cup pool games will be played in an arena where their tenacity is now being matched by enterprise.

“Absolutely Twickenham is a fortress now. I thought the crowd against France were fantastic,” Lancaster said.

England’s progression from the group stage can not be taken for granted, however, with Wales and Australia also present in a ferociously competitive Pool A.

“Wales are a very good team, as are Australia, so it’s going to be high stakes when those games come around,” Lancaster said.

“Even Fiji first up is going to be a big challenge.

The approach of the World Cup means Saturday’s disappointment must be digested quickly with a wider squad of some 45 players for the summer training camp set to be named in mid May.

Lancaster and captain Chris Robshaw animatedly addressed the squad in the immediate aftermath of a near-miss against France that could yet serve a purpose in the pursuit of the greatest prize of all.

“I tried to move them immediately after the game to a point where they understood the game they’d just played in,” Lancaster said.

“That’s very hard when you’re Chris Robshaw or Mike Brown who’s played in four Championships and come second four times. It will take a while. ”

England scorers: Tries: B. Youngs 2, Watson, Ford, Nowell 2, B. Vunipola. Cons: Ford 7. Pens: Ford 2.

ENGLAND: Brown, Watson, Joseph, Burrell, Nowell, Ford, B. Youngs, Marler, Hartley, Cole, Parling, Lawes, Haskell, Robshaw, B. Vunipola.

Replacements: Cipriani for Watson (63), Twelvetrees for Burrell (73), Wigglesworth for B. Youngs (73), M. Vunipola for Marler (63), T. Youngs for Hartley (53), Brookes for Cole (63), Easter for Parling (68), Wood for Haskell (68).

France scorers: Tries: Tillous-Borde, Nakaitaci, Mermoz, Debaty, Kayser. Cons: Plisson 2. Pens: Plisson, Kockott.

FRANCE: Spedding, Huget, Fickou, Mermoz, Nakaitaci, Plisson, Tillous-Borde, Debaty, Guirado, Mas, Flanquart, Maestri, Dusautoir, Le Roux, Goujon. Replacements: Bastareaud for Mermoz (73), Tales for Plisson (73), Kockott for Tillous-Borde (48), Kayser for Guirado (47), Atonio for Mas (47), Chouly for Goujon (63).

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