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Pressure building on English coach Lancaster after loss to South Africa

STUART LANCASTER accepts that pressure to deliver results is mounting as England continue to flounder in their build-up to next year's World Cup on home soil.

South Africa prevailed 31-28 in Saturday's QBE International at Twickenham to extend the hosts' losing sequence to five Tests, albeit each of them coming against New Zealand or the Springboks.

"Clearly the pressure is on because we haven't achieved our objective, but internally there's a very strong group working hard together to improve. There's no sense of the pressure affecting people," English head coach Lancaster said.

"Every defeat hurts, but obviously you do want to make sure you build and put a positive performance in next week. People want and expect that - as do we. I don't think any team stops developing or learning, but the clock ultimately stops at the World Cup.

"If you don't win in the short term, while also trying to develop the side in the long term, then ultimately pressure can be caused by not winning consistently."

One of the most pressing concerns facing Lancaster is his underperforming fly-half Owen Farrell. "Owen will be frustrated at one or two things - the ball out on the full from kick-off, things like that, things that can come back and haunt you.

"Obviously in a key position like 10, that's important.

"But he has been outstanding for England in the past and he certainly wasn't at fault for us losing to South Africa."


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