Stuart Lancaster says England are prepared for Dublin atmosphere

England play Ireland in the Six Nations this Sunday

Stuart Lancaster insists last summer's tour to South Africa has prepared England for the storm that awaits in Dublin on Sunday.

Just two weekends into the 2013 RBS 6 Nations and the Aviva Stadium showdown with Ireland is shaping up to be an early title decider following France's shock opening-round defeat to Italy.

Two years ago England arrived at Lansdowne Road hoping to complete the Grand Slam, only to face a performance of controlled ferocity from the Irish that flattened them 24-6.

Lancaster is eager to distance his side from that result - there are likely to be only five survivors in England's starting XV - but believes they are well equipped to deal with an emotionally charged occasion

"This is a completely different team going to Dublin from 2011, with a completely different mentality," he said.

"That said, playing the Irish in Dublin is a unique challenge. We've got to be able to deal with the emotion of the occasion and still think clearly, making good, accurate decisions.

"That will be the true test of our maturity. It's a great challenge for us.

"Experiences like Johannesburg have definitely made us stronger. In all three of the Tests in South Africa the players learned some lessons about what it takes to get there - we all did.

"Mentally, we've got to be in the right place but that comes from the confidence we build in training."

England name their team on Thursday, with the centre partnership once again the source of greatest discussion following Manu Tuilagi's return to fitness after four weeks out with an ankle injury.

Lancaster hinted that he will restore Tuilagi to the starting XV, forcing him to drop either Billy Twelvetrees or Brad Barritt.

Twelvetrees enjoyed a fine Test debut in Saturday's 38-18 victory over Scotland, adding a new dimension to the midfield, while Barritt offers defensive steel that the management are reluctant to lose.

"I watched Manu through the course of last week, I could see he was back to running and changing direction," Lancaster said.

"He has missed a few games, but I'm confident we'll be able to use him after a full week's training.

"Billy played well against Scotland and Brad's contribution as always was positive, but Manu brings a unique set of skills and attributes to the game and the team, as we saw in his performance against the All Blacks."

PA

News
news
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
tvChristmas special reviewed
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Sport
sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all