Rugby - Robshaw seeks home advantage

Chris Robshaw has urged England to emulate the World Cup-winning team of 2003 by transforming Twickenham into a fortress.

PA Sport
Rugby - Robshaw seeks home advantage
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Chris Robshaw wants England to make home advantage count.

Australia open the QBE Internationals in the penultimate meeting between the rivals before they collide at the same venue in the group stage of England 2015.

Robshaw knows the importance of gaining an early psychological edge against the Wallabies and of establishing Twickenham as an arena to be feared given it will stage all but one of their World Cup matches.

Ten years ago, Martin Johnson's all-conquering team headed to Australia for the scene of the nation's greatest triumph having won 22 consecutive home matches dating back to October 1999.

Included in that sequence were seven confidence-building victories over southern hemisphere giants New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina. It is a record Robshaw would like to repeat.

"Two years out from a World Cup everyone who comes to Twickenham will be looking to get an edge over us, especially Australia and Wales who are in our group," the England captain said.

"We need to have a sense of personal pride because it's our home stadium.

"If you look at the build-up to the 2003 World Cup England had been unbeaten at home since 1999.

"It's about making it a really tough place for people to come and play.

"That doesn't just happen, it takes a lot of hard work. Hopefully it'll start building now."

England acknowledge that with the World Cup looming in two years time they must begin the process of building momentum when Australia arrive at Twickenham on Saturday

Argentina and New Zealand complete the series and with success now expected of Stuart Lancaster's team, Robshaw has demanded a triumphant autumn.

"You never want to be a team that goes out fighting only when it has nothing to lose. It's always easier because there's no pressure on you," he said

"As a nation, as a team, we put pressure on ourselves to deliver for the nation that we know will be behind us and watching. We want to go out there and start this series well.

"It's an important series for us - we really want to kick on and show what we are about now.

"We've had 18 months to two years where we've had some good experiences and some tough ones.

"We've done a lot of learning in that time, but it's time for us now to go up another gear."

With several players rested for the summer tour to Argentina and others selected by the British and Irish Lions, Saturday will be the first time England's strongest team have played together since the 30-3 drubbing by Wales in March.

They travelled to Cardiff hoping to complete the Grand Slam, but instead retreated over the Severn Bridge nursing pride battered by a rout that ultimately defined their season.

Robshaw was among those whose last international outing was at the Millennium Stadium.

"That game was about physicality. It was about them taking their chances when we didn't. It was as simple as that," Robshaw said.

"Rugby can be a simple game. If you get on the front foot it's a lot easier.

"As a squad we will have to make sure it doesn't happen again. We learned a very harsh lesson and we can't afford to let it happen again."

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