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Cohen not getting carried away

England still have everything to prove as they look to move within touching distance of their first RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam for eight years, according to World Cup-winning wing Ben Cohen.

Martin Johnson's men have produced three wins from their opening three championship matches for the first time since they last completed a clean sweep in 2003.

Despite there being two games still to play, the Grand Slam talk has already begun, something Cohen - part of the last England side to record five wins from five - insisted was totally premature. "Three games ago, we were talking about England losing against South Africa and New Zealand," he told Press Association Sport.

He added: "They've beaten Italy, got a good result in Wales, and have beaten France - who didn't really turn up for the second half. Now we're talking about them being world beaters. Let's not get carried away."

Cohen, who is still in touch with some of his former team-mates who are still in the squad, added: "I know that Jonno and all the players are not going to get carried away. I mean, one step at a time."

Cohen knows all about false dawns, having been part of an England side who blew the Grand Slam in the final game of the tournament for three successive years before finally winning it in 2003. That success was also built on historic victories over each of the Tri-nations the previous autumn.

Cohen said: "It was a few years in the making getting to the World Cup final. We blew a couple of Championships and a couple of Grand Slams before we got to that year's Six Nations."

The Sale wing expects England to beat Scotland a week on Sunday ahead of what he branded their first real test in Ireland on the final weekend of the tournament.

"They've had five out of six games at home," he said. They've spent a lot of time at home and next week against Scotland again, so it'll be six out of seven.

"It'll stand them in good stead if they go to Ireland and win. It'll make teams sit up and take notice."


From Belfast Telegraph