Fixtures - Top Bar

Wood relishing home crowd but wants focus from England

England will be treading a fine line at Twickenham tonight, according to Northampton Saints star Tom Wood, who is determined to soak up the atmosphere of a home crowd while staying focused on the task at hand.

Stuart Lancaster’s men will be looking to kick off the World Cup with a win as they take on Fiji in front of an 80,000 sell-out at Twickenham.

Wood is hoping that the Red Rose can take full advantage of the home-turf advantage in much the same way as Team GB’s athletes profited at London 2012.

But Wood, who captained Saints to the Aviva Premiership Rugby title in 2014, is well aware that the team will need to be mentally strong to not get overawed by the occasion.

“On the back of the Olympics we saw what it did for the British athletes and we want some of that,” said the 28-year-old.

“It is a difficult balancing act. You want to be in the zone and focus on your own game. At the same time we want to take full advantage of the home crowd and we want to soak all of that up.

“Stuart Lancaster has talked a lot about being on the front foot with English identity and our national pride. We know what that can do for us.

“We know it is a two-way thing. We have to go out there and give the crowd something to cheer. We have to show real intent, endeavour and execute well.

“Hopefully on the back of that there will be a snowball effect. They will get behind us and carry us through.”

The outing will be Wood’s second taste of World Cup action after making one start in England’s 2011 campaign when he lined up against Georgia.

This time he is hoping to have a bigger impact and is sure that the team will be fully focused when come kick off.

“This time it’s my chance,” added Wood, who will start alongside Robshaw in the back-row tonight. “I have been given a great opportunity and I have to make the most of it. I feel ready, so I just hope we show that.  

“That’s kind of the anxiety now. When all the hard work is done there is not much you can do to change any of that now. We just have to put our best foot forwards.

“We are not entitled to win the World Cup and I can’t promise it. There are some great teams out there.”
 

Latest News

Match Reaction: Wasps 20 Exeter Chiefs 23 (AET)

Years of hard-work have paid off for Exeter Chiefs according to head coach Rob Baxter, after the Devon side lifted…

AUDIO: Yeandle, Haskell and Townsend reflect on the Aviva Premiership final

Russell Hargreaves looks back on a dramatic and extended Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham, before speaking to victorious Exeter Chiefs…

Match Report: Wasps 20 Exeter Chiefs 23 (AET)

Seven years after kicking Exeter Chiefs into Aviva Premiership Rugby, skipper Gareth Steenson proved once again that ice runs through…

HITZ learning academy gear up for the Aviva Premiership Rugby final

Around 30 young people from across the country will be at this afternoon’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham to…

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final: Review of the finalists’ most recent head-to-heads

Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final sees table-toppers Wasps face off against second-placed Exeter Chiefs, in what promises to be a…

Six things to look out for in this Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final

After nearly nine months of intense competition, the fate of the Aviva Premiership Rugby trophy comes down to 80 minutes…

Match Reaction: Northampton Saints 23 Stade Francais 22

Courtney Lawes revealed that he overcame illness to put in another man-of-the-match performance in Northampton Saints’ European Rugby Champions Cup…

Match Report: Northampton Saints 23 Stade Francais 22

Northampton Saints pulled off a stunning comeback victory to upset Stade Francais and secure European Champions Cup rugby for next…

Thomas Waldrom out to finish the job with Exeter Chiefs

Thomas Waldrom is ready to put the seal on a season of hard graft by helping Exeter Chiefs to lift…

Thomas Waldrom

Key moments of the season for our Aviva Premiership Rugby finalists

After two frantically-contested semi-finals, excitement is building for what will surely be a thrilling Aviva Premiership Rugby Final between Wasps…

Exeter Chiefs side to face Wasps in the Aviva Premiership Final

It was seven years today that Exeter Chiefs finally arrived at English rugby’s top table. On a wet and wild…

Olly Woodburn

Wasps team to play Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership Final

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his Wasps’ side for the Aviva Premiership Final against Exeter Chiefs, at Twickenham…

Josh Bassett and Willie Le Roux

Sean Maitland signs contract extension with Saracens

Saracens are delighted to announce that Scotland international Sean Maitland has signed a contract extension with the Club. Capped 28…

Sean Maitland

Ashley Johnson ready for daunting Twickenham final challenge

Wasps might have finished the Aviva Premiership Rugby season top of the table but hooker Ashley Johnson believes they will…

Netani Talei retires from rugby

Harlequins back-row Netani Talei has today (Thursday 25th May) announced that he will retire from the game following medical advice.…

Netani Talei

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final – safety of supporters

The safety of our supporters is of upmost importance to Premiership Rugby. As a result, we have been working for…

Win a Citizen Watch and a ball signed by this year’s Aviva Premiership Rugby champions

Celebrating being the Official Timekeeper of Premiership Rugby, Citizen are offering you the chance to win a Citizen Watch up…

England Squad Announced to Play in Old Mutual Wealth Cup Against the Barbarians

Eddie Jones has named his England squad to play in the Old Mutual Wealth Cup against the Barbarians on Sunday…