Six Nations
England welcome back fit again trio
Tom Hamilton
February 8, 2015

England will not revel in their win over Wales according to head coach Stuart Lancaster as he welcomes back three of their previously injured contingent.

Lancaster was loathed to declare their 21-16 triumph over Wales as the biggest win of England tenure but did admit it ranked alongside their 2012 triumph over New Zealand. In 2013, England journeyed to Cardiff with the goal of securing their first Grand Slam in 10 years. Instead, they were humbled 30-3 and watched on as Wales lifted the championship title.

But on Friday night, England fought back from being eight points down at half-time to win the second-half 13-0 and post-match Lancaster hailed his team's performance.

England's Geoff Parling plucks the lineout, England v France, Six Nations, Twickenham, England, February 23, 2013
Geoff Parling should be fit for Italy © PA Photos

"It's hard to put a rating on victories because they're all important when you're in charge of a national team, but it's certainly right up there because of the experience we had two years ago," Lancaster said. "The defeat two years ago was felt really deeply. There were a lot of players who played in that game who wanted to give the England supporters, who were fantastic here, something to cheer about.

"We know how difficult it is to come here and win and we know how good their team is. We have a huge amount of respect for what they've achieved in the past, so to come here and get the win is big for us."

It will now be business as usual for England. Lancaster emphasised there will be no lengthy spells of self-congratulation and instead the focus switches to Saturday's match against Italy at Twickenham.

"It's one game for me. I've been in charge of three Championships three times now, and I won' be getting carried away. I'll be getting their feet back on the ground on Monday and saying we need to be better for Italy."

England will have Geoff Parling, Kyle Eastmond and Brad Barritt back in training ahead of the Italy match and the returning trio will no doubt give Lancaster a selection headache. Tom Wood is unlikely to be available but Lancaster was touched by the injured flanker, along with another sidelined player, sending their best wishes on the eve of the match.

"Manu [Tuilagi] was one [who texted Lancaster]. I checked my phone afterwards and he had text just before the game, saying he believed the boys could do it. Tom Wood texted me the night before the game. That means a lot to me because there are guys who are out and know there are other people in their shirt, but they care about the team."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Tom Hamilton is the Associate Editor of ESPNscrum.

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