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Lancaster has faith in raw England

9 February 2013 14:39

England head coach Stuart Lancaster insists he is not worried by his side's lack of experience as they prepare to face Ireland on Sunday.

Ireland boast some of the world's most-capped international players, while of the England squad who last played in Dublin in 2011, only six remain.

However, Lancaster was quick to point to England's performances in the past twelve months as evidence that experience is not the deciding factor in international rugby, with their triumph over the All Blacks in December proving this.

"Obviously experience counts for a huge amount but I think we've proven time and time again over the last 12 months that there are other things that count in a performance as well," he said.

"When we played the All-Blacks I think we had 206 caps in our side and they had 700 odd, or Dan Carter and Richie McCaw had more between them than the whole of our team. So experience counts for something but it doesn't count for everything with me."

England head into the game off the back of a comfortable 38-18 win over Scotland in their opening Six Nations match last weekend, a game which saw fly half Owen Farrell dominate as he kicked 18 points.

Lancaster was not afraid to sing the praises of the 21-year-old, claiming he is expecting more of the same as their Six Nations campaign continues.

"He was excellent (Owen Farrell) last weekend, not just his game management, his goalkicking, his defence and his ability to vary his depth and come to the line and distribution also. He is a player in form at the moment," Lancaster said.

Farrell's recent performances have seen him touted as a potential British and Irish Lions number 10 but the player himself is not getting carried away with the hype, and insisted he is purely focused on the Six Nations.

"No, not at all," he said when asked if he was looking ahead to a potential Lions berth.

"There's a lot of things that can happen, there's a lot of rugby between now and the Lions (tour). You don't want to take your eye off what's in front of you."

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