sport

Title essential for Lancaster

England head coach Stuart Lancaster accepts that his side need to "close the deal" and win this year's Six Nations.

Since losing to France on the opening weekend, England have responded well with impressive wins over Scotland and Ireland propelling them back into title contention.

Defending champions Wales visit Twickenham on Sunday in a pivotal fixture that Lancaster admits England cannot lose.

Wales bounced back from defeat ion their opening match to take the Six Nations crown last year and now England are hoping to emulate that achievement.

"I agree that we need to close the deal and win the tournament. It was the objective at the outset to try to win the tournament," Lancaster said.

"We didn't quite achieve what we wanted against France. That put us on the back foot.

Motivation

"From that point on we've used Wales as motivation, after they lost their first game against Ireland last year but went on to win the title.

"In order to win a championship you have got to win four straight after losing the first. No-one has won a title on three wins.

"If we can get the win on Sunday, it's still within our capability."

England have often been accused of arrogance in recent years, not least during last season's Six Nations when former Scotland and British and Irish Lions coach Jim Telfer launched a stinging attack on them.

But Lancaster says the current England set-up values humility and admits he would be stung if the arrogant tag surfaces before Warren Gatland's side arrive at Twickenham.

"I'd be disappointed if it was put against us as a group because I don't think it's a reflection of the group at all," he said.

"We want to come across as a group that's got our feet on the ground, that's not getting carried away with ourselves and have a bit of humility about ourselves."