Six Nations: Chris Robshaw believes England must beat France if they want silverware
Chris Robshaw insists if England are to prosper in the Six Nations they must beat France in Paris on Saturday.
Last Updated: 30/01/14 2:04pm
Twenty games remain until the 2015 World Cup on home soil and while uncapped duo Jack Nowell and Luther Burrell will be blooded this weekend, Robshaw thinks the team's rebuilding period is over.
Two years ago in Stuart Lancaster's first match against France as interim head coach, England left Paris with a 24-22 triumph, outscoring Les Bleus three tries to one in the process.
Little was expected from that game as England sought the early stages of recovery from their 2011 World Cup fiasco and Robshaw knows that Saturday's result will carry far greater significance.
"There is more pressure on us this time and we also expect from each other. Every time we meet up we want to be better," the England captain said.
"The standards are a lot higher than they used to be, whether that's being driven by the players or the coaches. We want to achieve.
"We have always spoken quite honestly and said 'we are improving tournament by tournament' and as individuals that is what we want to do.
"We are not in a building stage any more, we want to go on and be successful.
"To be successful you have to go to places like the Stade de France - a tough environment with a hostile crowd - in a first-up encounter and hit the ground running. There can't be any room for error.
"A win would be massive. It would get us off to the best possible start. Going into a hard and challenging environment and getting a result is always impressive."
While France were once known for their dashing three-quarter play, it is now their muscular forwards who carry the standard into battle.
England know from where the main threat will come, but Robshaw says they must also be ready for any surprises from a team still capable of producing the unexpected.
"France have a big, heavy pack and a very dangerous back line," he added.
"It's going to be a very physical encounter, there's no hiding from that, and both sets of forwards will want to lay down a marker early on.
"We have an idea of what's in store, but you never know quite what to expect with France and we have to be ready to adapt to that."