Lancaster wants Twickenham to roar again

England coach Stuart Lancaster has urged the Twickenham crowd to find their voice once more when two-time defending Six Nations champions Wales arrive at the London ground on Sunday.

Often derided as lacking passion and intensity compared to other Six Nations venues despite regularly attracting crowds in excess of 80,000, Twickenham was at its most raucous in years as England beat Ireland 13-10 last time out to leave just Wales standing between them and the Triple Crown.

“It’s fantastic going back to Twickenham,” Lancaster told reporters at England’s Bagshot training base, south-west of London, on Friday after naming his side to play Wales.

“It was an unbelievable atmosphere a week-and-a-half ago. This Sunday will be right up there as well. They (the crowd) gave the team a huge amount and hopefully we can put in a performance like we did against Ireland and give them plenty to shout about.”

Lancaster had his players get out of their team bus early so they could ‘walk through’ part of the crowd ahead of the Ireland match and the coach is keen to turn Twickenham into something of a fortress.

Asked what he wanted from England fans this weekend, Lancaster replied: “More of the same please.

“Twickenham has always inspired the players, it’s always inspired me. It’s a place for us where we are building a real sense of our English identity and what we are about as a team.

“I think they (the supporters) respond to the fact they can see a team playing with passion and commitment for England’s Rose.”

Wales are aiming to become the first side to win three successive outright Six Nations titles and will be bolstered by the way in which they obliterated England’s Grand Slam dream with a record 30-3 win in Cardiff last year.

“All the talking is fine but we have to make sure we deliver on the field,” Lancaster said.

“It’s a big game, a tough game, but we think we’re ready.

“Looking at the quality of their team, they (Wales) are full of British Lions. We don’t have so many but, come the day, let’s see what happens,” he added.

“In the autumn they didn’t quite get the results they wanted but, against France (whom Wales thrashed 27-6 last time out) they showed that on their day they can be a world-class team and I’m sure they will come ready on Sunday.

“We respect them and they have got more to their game than people give them credit for. The gain line is important but I’d be surprised if they don’t have a few tricks up their sleeve as well.”

This will be the last Twickenham clash between England and Wales before they return to ‘headquarters’ for a potentially key 2015 World Cup clash in a ‘group of death’ also featuring Australia.

“I understand all the context around this particular game and the World Cup,” said Lancaster.

“We play Wales twice before the World Cup, Wales play Australia — I’m sure psychologically there will be some things there.”

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