England 26-17 Australia
Lancaster: England on track for World Cup
Tom Hamilton at Twickenham
November 29, 2014
England's Ben Morgan scored two tries © Getty Images

England boss Stuart Lancaster says his team are on track in their World Cup preparations following their 26-17 win over Australia on Saturday.

The next time the two countries meet will be in the Pool stages of the World Cup with England and Australia facing each other on October 3. Lancaster said the win over the Wallabies on Saturday will count for little next year, but he was delighted to end the November series with a victory following their losses against New Zealand and South Africa.

"We always believed in the plan and believed in the players this week," Lancaster said. "There was a real single-minded approach to the game we wanted to take. I thought we took it and the players applied the plan really well. We did not quite get it all right but key moments such as Mike Brown putting the ball in the corner, turning them, we get the scrum and Ben Morgan scoring the try that's what wins Test matches."

And when asked whether England were on track for the World Cup, he answered: "Absolutely. It is always difficult going into an autumn series playing the World Champions with limited preparation time," Lancaster said. "We felt we competed well. We felt in the South Africa game we actually generated the opportunities for them rather than the other way round. We have not got everything right by any stretch of the imagination, there's still a lot of work to do."

England crossed for two tries with Ben Morgan grabbing both in a victory which saw dominance from their pack. Morgan was named Man of the Match but Courtney Lawes put in a heroic shift in the second-row. Post-match Lancaster paid tribute to the work Graham Rowntree has done with the forwards and spoke of his pride at seeing some of the younger players coming through.

"Look at the quality of the players missing from the pack: Joe Launchbury, Geoff Parling, Tom Youngs, Mako Vunipola, Alex Corbisiero, Dan Cole, Tom Croft. What's pleased me most is the emergence of the Kieran Brookes and the Matt Mullans and the contribution that George Kruis has made. We were bringing on George for his debut against New Zealand after 20 minutes so it is real positive step forward in terms of strength in depth for us."

England started with their third different combination in the centres with Billy Twelvetrees partnering Brad Barritt and Lancaster was pleased with how Twelvetrees dovetailed with fly-half George Ford.

"I think the leadership shown by George and Ben Youngs, in particular, was excellent. I thought Billy did well, we did not have a lot ball in attack to play from. He got closed down a couple of times quickly but he added that solidity in defence we needed.

"I was probably going to bring Owen on for Billy at that point anyway. Owen's experience helped in the last 20 minutes of the game; Richard Wigglesworth the same. When you have likes of Owen and George and these young's lads it is a real positive going forward.

"We have got Manu [Tuilagi], Luther Burrell who was not available at the start because of his injury and Kyle Eastmond, who picked up concussion. We have got some good backs to come in. The most pleasing thing overall, if you look back at 2014, irrespective of today's result, we scored 26 tries and 21 were by the backs."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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