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Sports

Johnson hopes to rebuild Fortress Twickenham against Australia

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-11-12

England manager Martin Johnson will be desperate to avoid a seventh home defeat as his team take on Australia on Sunday at the stadium once known as Fortress Twickenham.

AFP - England manager Martin Johnson wants to turn Twickenham into a feared rugby fortress once more -- starting with Saturday's Test showdown with Australia.

England went unbeaten at Twickenham for four years leading up to the 2003 World Cup but in recent seasons have seen their home become a happy hunting ground for Six Nations and southern hemisphere opponents.

Since Johnson took over in 2008, England have lost six of their 13 home Test matches, and have only beaten Argentina and the Pacific Islands during autumn international matches at the venue.

Australia have beaten England on their last two visits to Twickenham and are bidding for a hat-trick of wins on Saturday.

Johnson believes however it is time for England to make their home an intimidating venue for visiting teams.

"We want teams to come here and not look forward to playing," said Johnson.

"You only do that by performance. It doesn't happen any other way. You have to go and play with intensity and accuracy and make it bloody difficult for them," he added.

England were beaten 26-16 by New Zealand last Saturday, when Johnson's men paid the price for a sluggish start and failure to take their opportunities.

"We were disappointed with things we did last week but it is good to have that as a reference point," Johnson said.

"The guys were realistic last week that they hadn't played well enough for long enough in the game. They had played well in parts but that won't win you a game against teams of this quality."

"Australia are very dangerous. They are very good at spotting opportunities, mismatches, holes on the inside. We have got to be sharper than we were last week," he added.

Date created : 2010-11-12

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