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Lancaster wants some All Blacks rub off

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Sportal.co.nz     14 Oct 2013     Getty Images

As he prepares to get ready for the Autumn series, which involves a Test against the All Blacks, Lancaster wants England's players to develop a belief similar to the kind that drives the world champions.

He told The Independent on Sunday: "We've gone through a big period of transition with a young squad. I want to do more work with the players on the culture and identity of England.

"It is a big thing for me in the next 12 months, that we really build on that and maximise the home field advantage and try and really connect to the English rugby public and sporting public," he said.

Lancaster has asked key players from England's past to work with his side to help them reconnect with the past and to describe what it meant to play for England in the past.

He is keen to see the all-white uniform reinforced as the only England shirt and phrases like 'England 365' and 'England Connected' will be doing the rounds as reminders to players of their need for commitment.

Lancaster said he had met with New Zealand rugby icon Sir Brian Lochore to try and get a handle on what the All Blacks mean to themselves and the country.

Having schools' games on television and playing to crowds of 5000 hit home to him why rugby was in New Zealanders' blood.

"It confirmed what I already thought. They have a very strong emphasis on culture and identity. The shirt means a huge amount to them. The identity of playing for New Zealand is a big driver," he said.

But Lancaster said picking up the mojo of what drives New Zealand was only part of the deal.

Selection and game plan were still vital to success but the All Blacks had been the most consistently successful team in world sport and set the standard for aspirants from other countries.

The win over South Africa to claim the Rugby Championship had demonstrated the capacity for the All Blacks to overcome the odds.

"We are saying to our players we need them to be good in every component piece in their game, and have an x-factor in two.

"We have some players who have an x-factor in two but perhaps aren't excellent in every area.

"The Kiwis have got players who are good in every area and have the x-factor as well," he said.