England’s opening game saw the host nation begin with a bonus point win over Fiji. And the Friday night meant that Lawes could relax and watch the rest of the opening weekend, which he did with interest.
“There have been some great games and some upsets, and it shows how big rugby’s getting around the globe,” he told the RFU Podcast. “That’s fantastic; the more competition we have in terms of playing other teams, the better the game gets going forward. It’s been brilliant. Everyone’s getting involved and watching, and that’s great for rugby.
“We felt it going into the stadium last Friday night, where the crowd was incredible. There’s expectation on everyone and the country’s behind us. That’s a powerful thing.”
Tomorrow evening sees England go head-to-head with Wales, with Lawes lining up alongside club mates Tom Wood and Kieran Brookes, and going up against another fellow Saint, George North.
Since the Rugby World Cup pools were drawn nearly three years ago the clashes with Wales and Australia have been highlighted as those which would decide the outcome of Pool A, and Lawes is under no illusion as to the pressure that both sides will face at Twickenham.
“Any game at the moment is huge for us,” he added. “But we’re going to be up for it on home turf, where we have to win, and we do whatever we can to get that ‘W’. Fiji was a big test for us and a potential banana skin, and was a great way for us to open up with a bonus point.
“It’s always a big test against Wales, and despite their injuries they’ll come firing. They’ve got a good team and a great coach, and it’ll be a big spectacle this weekend. We always work on everything and look to improve. We obviously need to do better at the set piece and make sure that’s up to par if we want to win.
“We take it one game at a time, and the most important thing for us is to get out of the group stages.”
Saturday night’s game kicks off at 8pm, with live coverage on ITV.
Rugby World Cup 2015 comes to Milton Keynes next week, with three games in the space of six days. For the latest news, including travel information about getting to stadiummk and the full programme of entertainment in the official Fanzone and Festival of Rugby, head to www.lovemkrugby.co.uk