England ‘still building’ says Mark Wilson as they aim to peak at just the right time
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Mark Wilson says England are not come close to their full potential yet despite some impressive performances in the build-up to the Rugby World Cup.
They finished their four-game warm up with a 37-0 win over Italy at St James' Park and although the score was impressive, the performance still had places for improvement according to the hard-working flanker.
"The great thing about the camp is we're still building," said the 29-year-old. "We're getting closer as a team and we're starting to come together.
"Some of the performances we've put together in these warm-up games have been good but the journey for us is just starting.
"We can't think that the warm-up games are it, we're now heading into the business end. It starts now.
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"Hopefully we can carry on improving as the World Cup will test us. Some games won't go our way but some will.
"It's how we react to the challenges and playing Italy was a perfect example of how to deal with one of those."
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The victory came courtesy of four converted tries, but all of them were scored in the second half after the Azzurri had frustrated and even dominated at times in the first-half on Tyneside.
Wilson said: "It was a challenging game, a really tough game. Italy came and gave us a really good challenge.
"It was a really good test match and it was a perfect test before we go out to the World Cup.
"We learnt a lot but we didn't panic or get frustrated and the way we came out in the second half was quality.
"We're pleased with the way we changed momentum at half-time."
The Newcastle Falcons star, who will spend a year on loan at Sale Sharks after the conclusion of the tournament, says he is a little unsure of what to expect in Japan, a typhoon on their arrival being the least of their worries.
But he is also eager to face the challenges of the climate and culture head on.
He said: "It's going to be a new thing for a lot of us but we have to be ready for the challenge and it is important that we problem solve as a group.
"We went to Treviso to train in the climate and the boys are really excited. Everyone says it is great getting into the squad but our journey is just starting."