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Last Updated: Monday, 2 June, 2003, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
Robinson ready for big test
Jason Robinson
Robinson is one of England's stars
Jason Robinson says the England team are ready to shed their image as bad travellers and beat the All Blacks in their own back yard.

The Sale star has made a massive impact in union since switching codes from rugby league three years ago.

And he is certain to be one of the first names on Clive Woodward's England team sheet for the forthcoming Tests against New Zealand and Australia Down Under.

England will need Robinson to shine if they are to end their miserable record in the southern hemisphere - they can boast a single win over the All Blacks and none against Australia on enemy territory.

That sole triumph came back in 1973 at Eden Park when a side skippered by John Pullin emerged with a 16-10 win, which came in the middle of eight successive defeats.

"This is the ultimate challenge," admitted Robinson.

These are the challenges you want as a player and I feel blessed to have been given this chance
Jason Robinson

"Even in my rugby league days the All Blacks were a team you admired and respected but you could never appreciate them because you were so far away.

"Yet here I am, little me, now playing against one of the best teams in the world. Sometimes it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

"These are the challenges you want as a player and I feel blessed to have been given this chance.

"Everyone knows New Zealand is a rugby mad country and I'm sure the atmosphere down there will be awesome."

The England players have their chance to carve a place in history by taking on the All Blacks in Wellington on 14 June, before facing the world champion Wallabies in Melbourne the following week.

Two wins for England, who went some way to dispelling their image as home lovers with their crushing win in the Six Nations decider against Ireland at Lansdowne Road this year, would see them become favourites to lift the World Cup.

But following up the memorable autumn victories over the same opposition at Twickenham earlier this season will not be easy.

Robinson has already travelled Down Under and rammed the sceptics' words down their throats in his rugby league days when Wigan overcame Brisbane in the World Club Challenge back in 1998.

"A lot of people have said we can only do it on home soil," he said.

"So what a great opportunity this is for us to go over there and prove people wrong."




SEE ALSO
Noon high on England chance
02 Jun 03  |  Internationals
Grewcock out of tour
28 May 03  |  Internationals

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