Winning start is crucial says Monye

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Ugo Monye has warned his England team-mates they must begin their RBS 6 Nations campaign with a win over Wales next week.

England go into the competition on the back of a disappointing autumn Test series which saw the position of head coach Martin Johnson and his coaching staff come under fire.

His preparations for the autumn Tests were hampered by a series of injuries but Johnson now has the strongest squad available since his appointment and he will have few excuses if England do not perform well in the tournament.

Despite finishing second last year, England never really contended for the championship after being beaten by Ireland and Wales in the second and third weeks after opening with a routine win over Italy.

Monye is looking forward to his first appearance against Wales and insists the only way England can gain the momentum to win the tournament this year is to start with a victory over Warren Gatland's men.

"It's a massive game. It's the Six Nations opener and that tournament is really built on momentum so that first game will be so crucial," the Harlequins wing told Press Association Sport.

"There's no better way of making Twickenham a fortress once again than beating the old enemy. I know a lot of their squad management being on the Lions tour and know the players will be massively up for that game but I can assure them that so will we, so it will be a tough game but I'm hoping and expecting an England win.

"The last couple of times they have been to Twickenham they have had some good results so it would be nice to turn them over."

Monye will be playing in his second Six Nations after establishing himself as a first-team regular under Johnson towards the end of last year's competition.

The 26-year-old believes England's performance will be a good indicator of the Red Rose's chances of success at next year's World Cup.

"Johnno (Johnson) has been with us a while now and the Six Nations is a great chance to test both players and coaches and I feel as if we have a great opportunity where we can win something," said Monye, who was speaking at an event organised by Gatorade.

"Everyone expects. The coaches, players and fans expect so it will be a great litmus test for us. We have a tour to Australia coming up and the World Cup is getting closer and closer and by the time we get there we have to make sure we're spot-on."

Monye endured a torrid time at full-back against Argentina in November, but looked more assured on the wing against Australia and New Zealand.

He has now pleaded with Johnson to keep him in that position for the Six Nations campaign.

He said: "I don't feel I have let England down on the wing. The autumn was a tough experience that didn't work out but it would be nice to get back on the wing and show them the type of player that I am.

"It's my natural position; I have played all my rugby there. I have played at the highest level with the Lions there and was successful there. It's a place where I'm comfortable, where I score all my tries."