BEN MORGAN believes England can win the Six Nations.
Former Dursley star Morgan was part of the side that ended their autumn international campaign with a 38-21 win against the world’s number one ranked side New Zealand at Twickenham.
And as the clock ticks down to the 2015 World Cup in England, the No.8 insists it’s vital Lancaster’s new-look side continue to build momentum and do not let their standards drop.
“We can’t afford to slip up at all; even losing one game can cost you the series,” said the 23-year-old, who watched Gloucester progress in the Amlin Cup last week after defeating Bordeaux Begles 31-26 in France thanks to 26 points from the boot of Freddie Burns.
“You can be on top of the world one minute and then right down low the next so it’s vital to kick on and continue.
“The way we’ve been performing and developing over the last year with England has been absolutely brilliant.
“The last game in particular was a real highlight for me.
“We knew we were capable of putting something like that down, but to do it against New Zealand was incredible.
“This is a big tournament now, and last year we ended up runners-up, so we’ve got to pick up where we left off against New Zealand.
“You’ve got to go into the tournament thinking you can win it.
“From the first game we’ve just got to play exactly how we did against New Zealand, and then take it forward again.
“You’re only together for a short time so you have to develop at lightning speed, adapt and pick everything back up very quickly.”
Since making his Red Rose debut in last year’s tournament, Morgan’s imperious ball-carrying skills have seen him march ahead of Leicester’s Thomas Waldrom for a place at the back of the England scrum.
England flanker Tom Croft may have club loyalties to consider but he admits Morgan has done enough to earn a first shot at the England starting jersey in the Six Nations.
Former Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School pupil Morgan followed the tour to South Africa in the summer with an impressive performance against the Springboks in the autumn internationals and staked his claim still further in the memorable victory over New Zealand at Twickenham.
Now at the top of the list to start at No.8 in the opening game against Scotland on February 2, Morgan has all the attributes to make it his for the long term according to Croft.
“Morgs is a superb ball carrier,” said Croft. “He carried exceptionally well against the teams in the last Six Nations and continued it in the autumn.
“I think you want to see a No.8 breaking forward, breaking tackles and creating a good platform for the side to go forward.
“He will be looking to solidify that position with his work at the base. He needs to be effective at the breakdown but also carry well.
“But it is a luxury to have that many players to choose from. We are blessed with great people in the No.8 position with Tom Waldrom also performing exceptionally well and Jordan Crane.
“They are all ball carriers that can think and pass and get in the open spaces and have a positive effect on the game.”
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