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Rugby | International Rugby

Chris Robshaw © Gallo Images

'Lesson learnt from kicking controversy'

England captain Chris Robshaw says the kicking controversy at the end of last Saturday's loss to South Africa has been a "big learning curve" as he fights to convince a nation he is worthy of the mantle..

The build up this Saturday's match against world champions New Zealand has been dominated by Robshaw's decision to have flyhalf Owen Farrell kick a penalty with two minutes remaining rather than attempt to score a try that could have put England ahead.

Farrell, who took issue with the decision at the time, kicked the goal but England were unable to add to the score and lost to South Africa 16-15.

Robshaw, who was first appointed captain by coach Stuart Lancaster in January despite having only one previous test match appearance, said the scrutiny since the match has made the week "a little bit different to the previous weeks", but the team had learnt from it.

"We've wanted to move forward of course, there will be a lot of lessons for myself to learn and look forward, whether it's decision making or bit and bobs from the pitch," he told reporters on Friday.

"But it has been a big learning curve and one we can hopefully move forward from."

The controversy followed on from the previous week against Australia where England turned down easy kicks at goal in favour of holding onto the ball, a ploy which also did not work in the 20-14 loss.

Robshaw has been publicly backed by Lancaster and despite the disagreement with Farrell, the 26-year-old said it was important to have input from other players even if the final call lay with him.

"At the end of the day it is my decision and I stick by that, (but) you do need a little bit of input from other people, you do need people running certain things, whether that's the line out, whether that's attack, whether that's defence," he said.

England are looking for a positive result following defeats by Australia and South Africa, but are facing a New Zealand team undefeated in 20 matches and who they have not beaten since 2003.

England impressed with their physicality against the Springboks, but Robshaw said the All Blacks were another step up.

"You look at New Zealand, they're one of the smartest sides, they probably (play) the most attacking rugby, it will be very different to last week," he said.


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