Parling: We can handle Springboks
FLANKER Geoff Parling has no doubt England are ready to meet South Africa's formidable pack head on.
The Springboks are renowned for their physicality and even with a number of new faces are likely to remain a fearsome prospect up front in this month's three-Test series.
England are in transition as they move away from the dark days of last year's disappointing World Cup campaign but, after a promising Six Nations, Parling is confident they can handle the Springbok challenge.
The Leicester forward, a newcomer himself after making his full debut in February, said: "Without any doubt.
"It is still quite a young pack in terms of experience and playing together but you see the characters in the team - the way Chris Robshaw has led this season, and someone like Dan Cole... I see the way he trains every day of the week. I am sure we have got more than enough character in the squad.
"I think the whole South African way, how they are brought up, is to have a strong pack and build from a good platform. The lineout is especially one of their key areas.
"You can see the way the majority of South African teams play is to get that good platform and maul a lot, drive a lot and get that momentum and go from there.
"They have lost some good players but the guys they have brought in aren't too bad either.
"But you can do too much analysis. We pretty much focus on ourselves.
"We have an idea of what is coming but it's about stopping it and trying to impose ourselves."
The Six Nations championship restored optimism in the England camp when they finished an unexpected second.