England came within two minutes of drawing with the All Blacks at Eden Park last weekend, a venue where the world champions had not been beaten since 1995.
Lee Dickson aside, Stuart Lancaster’s match day squad did not feature any players who had been involved in the Aviva Premiership final. But the team put in an outstanding performance in Auckland and Wood knows that the players who come in will have to raise the bar.
“We’re always looking to kick on,” the flanker told the RFU podcast. “I think we’ve set a good standard and I was incredibly proud watching the lads last week. I thought we had it and it was there at the end but that’s why New Zealand are the best side in the world. They have that absolute faith in their ability that they are going to get the job done.
“There was a period last week where it got a bit frantic and end to end and that’s where the opportunities present themselves. You’ve just got to work hard, remained focused and stay patient. Then when the chances come, you have to take them.
“It’s cruel to go so close in a game but those are the fine margins in a top level Test match. For all the pride we’ll take from the game, we’ll also look back at a few key moments that decided the match and possibly killed us a bit.”
Saturday’s game is being shown live on Sky Sports 1 from 8am.