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England ready to hit back - Robshaw

Chris Robshaw has warned Scotland to be ready for a "massive reaction" from an England team smouldering at their Grand Slam-ending loss to France.

Two rivals who tasted defeat in the opening round of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations meet at Murrayfield on Saturday.

England were dispatched 26-24 in shattering circumstances at the Stade de France when, having nudged 24-19 ahead, wing Gael Fickou glided over in the 77th minute.

Little comfort has been drawn from the character-fuelled fightback staged in a compelling match as Robshaw outlined what is expected from the 2015 World Cup hosts.

"There will have to be a massive reaction. All the guys have been seething a bit. To have gone so close and played so well...." the England captain said.

"Our game is not judged on performance, it is judged on results.

"We need to make sure we turn our performance into results. Both sides lost on the weekend and we want to rectify that.

"No one wants to be called plucky losers. Everyone wants to be winners.

"That's why we play the game - to win the big tournaments. We don't want to play well to finish second every time.

"We've now left ourselves with a lot of work to do and all the guys are up for that.

"We now need a bit of luck along the way but there are certain elements in our hands still."

Robshaw believes England, who will be removed from the title frame should they lose in Edinburgh, thrive in adversity.

"If you look at the character of the squad every guy seems to step up in these arenas," he said.

"We've been to some pretty hostile environments, Murrayfield being one of them. Paris last week, Ellis Park, all these type of places.

"It's you against them and you need to make sure you come out on top.

"When guys look around and see the characters around them and know what these guys are capable of it gives them strength.

"There's a slightly different pressure on us now. Both us and Scotland have lost our first games and are fighting for that win."

The Stade de France witnessed one of England's best attacking performances under head coach Stuart Lancaster, but they may be required to play a different game against Scotland.

The alarming state of the Murrayfield pitch has been condemned and with rain forecast for the hours building up to the Calcutta Cup clash, the scene has been set for a Scottish ambush.

"We speak about being an all-court team and being able to mix it when it's wet and dirty but also playing an expansive game," Robshaw said.

"I've only been to Murrayfield once. It's a very tough environment. They put a lot of pressure on the breakdown and try and slow you down.

"We know we're going to have to face adversity at times, we know it's going to be tough and attritional.

"Whenever we play Scotland it's always a pretty ferocious game and the rivalry between the two countries adds to that."


From Belfast Telegraph