Parling desperate for All Blacks scalp

Geoff Parling is fed up of near misses and is determined to sign off a frustrating autumn campaign with a landmark victory over world champions New Zealand.

Rugby News: Geoff Parling

The All Blacks have not lost in 20 matches while England back head to Twickenham with just one victory, against Fiji, in six Tests since the RBS 6 Nations.

England felt they should have beaten South Africa in Port Elizabeth, when they drew 14-14 on the summer tour, and might also have recorded autumn wins over Australia and the Springboks.

Last week, England believed they were the better team against South Africa but, ultimately, they still fell short with the Springboks snatching a 16-15 win.

Parling insisted there will be no better time to make the transition from nearly-men to Test match winners than against the mighty All Blacks.

"Saying 'we should have won games' isn't good enough," Parling said.

"We want to be the ones who close out games. We want to say we deserved to win and that we did win.

"I hate the term 'we will have a good go at them'. I never approach a game like that and in this squad we would never think that.

"New Zealand have been the best team consistently but this is our last game of the series, it is at Twickenham.

"If we win this the whole perspective of the series will change. We will be playing to win, not just to give it a go.

"We are annoyed and frustrated about the South Africa game but we have to pick ourselves up and go again. What better challenge? What better way to do it than to go against the All Blacks?" Parling's specialist area of the lineout was one of the few parts of England's game which misfired against the Springboks and he knows it needs immediate improvement.

Elsewhere, England did meet South Africa's physical challenge head on, winning the scrum battle and halting the Springbok's heavy ball-carriers on the gain-line with some ferocious defence.

New Zealand have not lost an autumn Test in the northern hemisphere for a decade and they are playing rugby on a different level to most teams.

But England refuse to be intimidated and they are convinced they can pick off the All Blacks with another high-intensity performance.

"New Zealand are just 15 players," Parling said.

"They are very good players but you can't be scared of teams at all.

"That's what the opposition want. They want you to think 'what's coming here?' We want to front up again."

Courtney Lawes has been confirmed in England's 23-man squad in place of Mouritz Botha after making his comeback from a knee injury for Northampton at the weekend.

Lawes has been plagued by injury for most of 2012. A shin complaint limited him to just one bench appearance in the Six Nations and it ruled him out of the summer tour of South Africa.

The only other change to England's match-day squad is the inclusion of uncapped Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns, who has come in for the injured Toby Flood.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster will confirm his starting XV on Thursday morning. Owen Farrell is set to start at fly-half with Burns and Lawes on the bench.



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