Parling: England will handle pressure
February 13, 2013
Geoff Parling is comfortable with the level of expectation now on England © Getty Images
England second-row Geoff Parling is confident Stuart Lancaster's young side can handle the added pressure of being favourites ahead of their clash with France at Twickenham next weekend.
Lancaster's side sit on top of the championship table after successive victories over Scotland and Ireland, and are the only team to be unbeaten after the opening two rounds. Such was the swagger of their victory over the Scots at Twickenham and the self-belief displayed in Dublin, England are now being heavily tipped for the championship.
France, meanwhile, have suffered two bruising defeats at the hands of Italy and Wales and the pre-tournament favourites are now underdogs going into the match at Twickenham.
"Expectation is good and I would much rather be under pressure to win than the underdog," Parling told. "We handled the expectation against Scotland and we are going to keep playing with the same intensity. We are happy to be favourites.
"You never really know which French side are going to turn up but we will be on our own turf and the challenge is to be consistent. It was a big battle up front [against Ireland] that wasn't pretty but we showed a lot of confidence to come through with the win.
"There were a hell of a lot of mistakes which means there is plenty to work on. People say we are a fairly inexperienced side but we have shown a huge amount of self- belief."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers