Six Nations 2014: England v Ireland - Tom Wood claims current pack have potential to emulate 2003 World Cup winning side
Wood wants the current crop of players to stand up and join the likes of Martin Johnson and Lawrence Dallaglio
Friday 21 February 2014
Tom Wood has challenged England's pack to realise their potential by establishing themselves as legends in the mould of Martin Johnson and Lawrence Dallaglio.
The Red Rose forwards have proved capable of standing toe to toe with any opposition since an impressive autumn that saw them subdue Australia and Argentina and match New Zealand.
On Saturday they will meet an Ireland eight who have excelled in RBS 6 Nations victories over Scotland and Wales and will offer possibly their greatest challenge yet.
Wood believes there is more to come from England up front, but insists consistency is the key if they are to be mentioned in the same breath as Johnson and Dallaglio.
"We've got that type of potential within our pack. Those names are legends, all-time greats and who don't just develop overnight," Wood said.
"You can win man of the match, but that does not make you a Johnson or Dallaglio. They did it week in, week out for 10 years.
"To get to that legendary status you need to back it up week in, week out.
"You need to do it too when you are the target, when you are on the pedestal. And that's a different challenge again.
"I have got every faith in our pack. I think we are a very competitive unit, forging a real bond, played together."
To draw greater inspiration from their support, England's players will disembark from the team bus earlier than usual when they arrive at Twickenham on Saturday.
The new route will sweep them on foot through the crowds outside the Lion Gate.
It is an initiative with which Wood has no problem, although he does not require any further motivation himself than pulling on the jersey.
"I don't like it or dislike the idea. I'm indifferent to it. I'd run from here (the team's training camp in Surrey) if necessary," he said.
"These ideas are from guys above my pay grade who are trying to maximise the little bits and pieces, trying to optimise the Twickenham factor.
"But if you are not ready at that stage, you never will be."
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