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Wood takes positives from near-miss

Tom Wood views the 2014 RBS 6 Nations campaign as a success, but still regrets the opening-day defeat in Paris that cost England the Grand Slam.

The Red Rose signed off an encouraging championship with a 52-11 victory over Italy in Rome, but were forced to confront the reality that they finished runners-up for a third successive year.

"We're really proud of the way we've performed and the results," Wood said.

"We played some good rugby, a really good blend with attacking interplay between forwards and backs.

"We developed some more youngsters who have come into the side and done really well, so on the whole it's been a really successful campaign.

"We will look back and kick ourselves about that French result.

"If it hadn't been for the nervous start and bounces of the ball there, it could have been different at the end, but on the whole we've played really well."

England's next assignment is their summer tour of New Zealand where three Tests against the world champion All Blacks await. Wood views the series as the toughest challenge in the game.

"New Zealand away is the ultimate test given the form they're in and their track record," he said.

"It will be a real test for us going out there on the back of a lot of the players being involved in the Premiership semi-finals and final.

"It will be a test of the squad at the end of a long season but it would be a real marker if we can come away from there with some success.

"Those are the kind of games we want to be playing in, we want to be testing ourselves against that calibre of opposition before the World Cup. Those are the standards we have to set ourselves."


From Belfast Telegraph