Six Nations
Lancaster wants England to emulate Wales
ESPN Staff
February 3, 2014
Danny Care caused France all sorts of trouble © Getty Images

England coach Stuart Lancaster has turned to rivals Wales for inspiration as they attempt to get their Six Nations campaign back on track.

England fell to a morale-sapping 26-24 loss to France on the opening weekend of Six Nations action but Lancaster insists his team can still lift the title. Last year Wales fell in their opening match but won their next four games to claim the championship and Lancaster is using that as inspiration.

"Wales lost in the first game last year and won the championship, don't forget that. That's what I told my players after the game," he said. France will be a tough side to beat, but championships aren't won in the first round.

"We're disappointed to have lost and that's probably a reflection of where we are in terms of our expectation."

Lancaster came in for criticism for his substitutions in the second-half when he chose to replace Billy Vunipola and Danny Care despite the duo playing some superb rugby and causing France all sorts of difficulties.

But Lancaster insists the decision to replace Care was not one planned before the game.

"It wasn't a predetermined substitution, but he hasn't played that many minutes between now and the autumn internationals," Lancaster said. "We felt Lee Dickson would come on and bring energy and momentum to our game, and work defensively as well.

"This level is a step above Premiership and European rugby. You see players begin to fade, and then you look at what you have on your bench."

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