Rowntree eyes action not words
England forwards coach Graham Rowntree insists there will be no excuses for his men not to be on top form against South Africa.
The Red Rose will play the first of three Tests against the Springboks on Saturday afternoon as they look to build on their success in the Six Nations. New coach Stuart Lancaster moulded the side into a competitive unit as they finished second in the northern hemisphere show-piece, with four victories in five attempts. But things are about to get a lot together as the take on the mighty South Africans in their own back yard - one of the toughest assignments in world rugby. The England domestic and international season is a lengthy affair and player burn-out is an issue, but Rowntree has made it clear that he will not be using that as an excuse over the next few weeks as England target victory on the Dark Continent. "In recent times on these tours, at the end of a long season, you have used every excuse going," he said. "But then we won the second Test in Australia two years ago. "We need to build more of that into our game now. We have got to start winning these big games. Our season only finishes on June 24." New England captain Chris Robshaw was one of the stand-out players in the Six Nations and he will need to be on top form if England are to have any chance of walking away with the spoils from this series, but the 26-year-old is looking for his men to raise their game and continue the rebuilding process. "We have spoken about the teams and the players and this is another step up," he said. "We look at where we were in the Six Nations and we are now coming away from home and we are building on what we have achieved so far."