Saints ace Wood says England will handle the Grand Slam pressure

BIG TEST - Saints' Tom Wood (Picture: Linda Dawson)
BIG TEST - Saints' Tom Wood (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Saints star Tom Wood says England can deal with the pressure to claim the Six Nations crown in Wales on Saturday evening.

The Red Rose are one win away from taking the title and securing a Grand Slam for the first time since 2003.

They will need to overcome an in-form Wales side, who need a seven-point victory to rob England of Six Nations glory.

But Wood is is full of belief and he feels his team are more than capable of winning, as long as they hit top speed from the outset at the Millennium Stadium.

“We’re obviously going into the game with confidence, given our position, but it’s going to be a huge game on Saturday,” he said.

“The Welsh are developing some form, are coming back into their best rugby, and they’re at home, so it’s a massive occasion.

“But as I say all we’re doing is focusing on the basics, focusing on keeping a simple approach and just making sure that we’re ready to go at a hundred miles an hour.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence in our willingness to fight for each other and our character under pressure and we believe that this will get us through.”

England go into the game on the back of a gritty 18-11 win against Italy at Twickenham, a clash which saw the away side stretch their hosts to the limit.

Plenty of hard work has been done on the Pennyhill Park paddock in light of that showing and No.8 Wood admits the squad have gone back to basics.

“It was quiet in the changing room after the Italy game and we weren’t entirely happy with some of the areas of our game,” Wood said.

“We’ve worked on those areas and simplified everything really, as the bigger the occasion and the bigger the game the tendency is to get carried away, to try and do things you wouldn’t normally do, try to solve problems on your own and to pull off the miracle play.

“A lot of these big occasions come down to keeping your focus for 80 minutes, staying in control and doing the simple things well. That’s what we’ve been focusing on this week.”