“We’re obviously aware of what’s at stake. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work it out,” says England coach Stuart Lancaster of his side’s World Cup clash with Australia. Henry Browne/Reuters

Stuart Lancaster and Chris Robshaw were explaining on Thursday how players remove themselves from what could otherwise become a suffocating world of(...)

Scott Williams leaves England’s Mike Brown and Sam Burgess trailing in his wake at Twickenham. Burgess showed all the attributes of his rugby league background in what was England’s biggest game for eight years. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

I only started playing centre in 2004. It took until the 2007 World Cup before I felt properly attuned to the nuances of the position and comfortable (...)

Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau shows the England defence a clean pair of heels at Twickenham. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP photo

England 25 Wales 28 Sometimes a game actually lives up the hype, and in this instance that’s really saying something. After nearly two years of(...)

England’s flanker Chris Robshaw  is tackled by Ireland’s  Rory Best and   Jack McGrath  during Saturday’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match at Twickenham. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Twickenham makes England genuine World Cup contenders. Every other nation must enter this heady arena and seek victory. Ireland tried, Ireland failed(...)

England winger Jonny May celebrates scoring their first try during the World Cup warm-up  at Twickenham. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images

One of a few positives coming out of Twickenham is the scoreboard. Only losing 21-13 to a rampant English team – with a powerful pack and dazzling win(...)

Ireland captain Paul O’Connell gets over for a try during the second half of the World Cup warm-up game at Twickenham. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

England 21 Ireland 13 The result may not have been terribly important but while this was the restorative win which was prescribed for England, it was (...)

England’s Jonathan Joseph dives over for a try during their Six Nations match against Scotland at  Twickenham, London.

England 25 Scotland 13 By Saturday night England could well be Six Nations champions after three successive years as frustrated bridesmaids. They (...)

 Billy Vunipola makes a break at the Aviva Stadium. James Crombie/Inpho

15 Alex GoodeHe carried more ball (18) than anyone else and made more metres (136) but struggled a bit in the air. Mike Brown’s absence was noticeable(...)

Mike Brown of England clashes with Andrea Masi of Italy during their Six Nations match at Twickenham. The fullback has not fully recovered from his head injury. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

The odds on Mike Brown featuring in England’s key Six Nations game against Ireland on Sunday are lengthening after the fullback suffered a setback in(...)

Sale outhalf Danny Cipriani is expected to provide outhalf cover on the bench for England’s opening Six Nations match against Wales in Cardiff on Friday night. Photograph:  Martin Rickett/PA

England have included outhalf Danny Cipriani and number eight Nick Easter in a 25-man squad retained for Friday’s Six Nations opener against Wales.The(...)