Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Johnson expects tough Italy test

Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson insists England are under "no illusions" about the size of the challenge Italy will pose in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations showdown.

England launched their campaign with an impressive 26-19 victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium and expectations will be high at Twickenham.

Johnson said: "A win is always number one. That is the healthiest mindset. If you start thinking of unrealistic expectations you will be in trouble."

He added: "Our number one priority is to win. Number two is we don't have any serious injuries and number three is that it is an exciting Test match.

"If you go in with that attitude to any game you are in the right place. If you start thinking what it looks like, then you are in trouble.

"We are here to win Test matches, make no bones about it.

"We have exciting players all over the field who can score and create damage and we want to use them - but to do that you have to win the battle.

"If Italy come and play their best game and they are tough and their defence is strong, we will be in a game into the last quarter like we were last week.

"I have no doubts about that. They don't concede a lot of points, they are difficult at the breakdown. We are under no illusions."

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