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Wood: We must start better

Tom Wood says England are in determined mood © Getty Images

Rugby News Wood: We must start better

Tom Wood says that despite all the positives that came out of last weekend’s Six Nations opener against France, avoidance of another sluggish start remains the key to keeping their hopes alive in the competition against Scotland.

Trailing 3-16 at one point, Stuart Lancaster’s side battled back to claim the lead and go within a whisker of a big win at Stade de France, only for Gael Fickou to snatch his side a late victory. Wood was his usual honest self as he looked ahead to the must win Murrayfield clash.

“Hopefully we’ll get off to a better start than last week,” the Saints flanker told the RFU Podcast. “It’s pretty unthinkable for us [to lose again]. We’ve vowed not be in that position so it’s down to us now to deliver.

“There were a huge amount of positives and pride to come out of the France game but at the end of the day all we’ve focused on is the detail and areas we need to improve on. That’s what ultimately cost us the game so we’re fully focused on what we do before we start thinking about anything else.”

Having missed out last time England went north of the border, Wood is relishing the chance to step out in Edinburgh with the historic silver trophy on the line.

“They’re all big games but this one in particular is steeped in tradition. We’re looking forward to it and expecting a hostile reception on the field, if not off it.

“I missed the last Calcutta Cup clash at Murrayfield through injury and was watching on hoping the lads could get the job done. It was a good result that day and I’m looking forward to adding my weight to the effort this weekend.

“They’re a proud and passionate team and we’ve both got points to prove after last week, so there’s a bit of added spice, too.”

Wood also took time to cast his eye over matters back at Franklin’s Gardens and particularly the Aviva Premiership trip to Sandy Park immediately after the conclusion of Saturday evening’s game in Scotland.

“It’s a really good challenge going all the way down to Exeter and another real test,” he added. “We’ll have to be right on our game to get a result but I’ve got every confidence in the lads. There are a few coming back off the back of a first Saxons experience – the likes of Sam Dickinson, Calum Clark and Alex Waller as well – so hopefully they’ll be full of confidence.

“Our depth of squad is really coming along nicely now and there are plenty of good players to fill in. The fact that we are fielding such strong sides with so many players here and others injured says big things about where we are going.”

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