England strong enough to cope with Dublin
Rugby Union, Updated:
[.[views].], BY ClubCall
England coach Stuart Lancaster feels last summer's tour to South Africa will stand his men in good stead for the trip to face Ireland.
England kicked off their Six Nations campaign with a 38-18 victory over Scotland at Twickenham, while the Irish survived a Welsh comeback to record a 30-22 victory at the Millennium Stadium.
The two nations will now go head-to-head in Dublin in a clash that many pundits believe could decide the winner of the tournament.
The Red Rose's recent history in the Irish capital is not that encouraging, as they were thrashed 24-6 in Dublin two years ago when they had thoughts of coming away with a win and the Grand Slam.
But Lancaster is keen to draw a line under events that day and feels that his charges are now capable of dealing with the pressure cooker atmosphere of Dublin having faced the southern hemisphere giants in their own backyard over the summer.
"This is a completely different team going to Dublin from 2011, with a completely different mentality," he said. "That said, playing the Irish in Dublin is a unique challenge. That will be the true test of our maturity. It's a great challenge for us.
"Experiences like Johannesburg have definitely made us stronger. In all three of the Tests in South Africa the players learned some lessons about what it takes to get there - we all did."