Stuart Lancaster ready for nervous day ahead of crunch Australia clash

Published: Saturday 3rd October 2015 by The News Editor

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Stuart Lancaster has ruled out a trip to the cinema to help pass the long hours before England’s decisive World Cup showdown with Australia after his last visit resulted in an unfortunate choice of film.

Only victory at Twickenham will be enough to prevent the hosts from exiting the tournament after just 16 days, a fate made possible by the 28-25 defeat to Wales in a fiercely competitive Pool A.

The 8pm kick-off will give Lancaster time to ruminate before the biggest match of his career and the head coach knows it will be a day of high anxiety.

“I have 12 hours to fill from when I wake up at six in the morning until we leave at six in the night,” he said.

“I’ll walk 95 times around the golf course at the team hotel. I won’t go to the cinema again, that wasn’t a very sensible choice last time because I picked the wrong film.

“It was ‘Everest’ – a story about a man going to the top of the mountain. A big storm comes and he dies!”

No host nation has failed to reach the knockout phase and defeat to Australia could have damaging repercussions for Lancaster, his coaching lieutenants and Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie.

The stakes are impossibly high as England seek to record a third successive victory over an Australia team that won this summer’s Rugby Championship and Lancaster knows the moment must be seized.

“My final words to the players will be do it for everyone,” head coach Lancaster said.

“To do it for the rugby clubs, the mums and dads and kids who play rugby, for their families, for the former players.

“But ultimately, I’ll tell them to do it for themselves. They are the ones who have put the graft in, they are the ones who have to sit in the changing room before the game.

“We have some brilliant players. They are brilliant players now, but are only going to get better in the future. This is a big moment for them. For all of us.”

Published: Saturday 3rd October 2015 by The News Editor

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