England v Samoa: Graham Rowntree wants end to tough week

Graham Rowntree, Mike Catt, Stuart Lancaster
Graham Rowntree (left) says England's five changes from defeat to South Africa merit their chance
Autumn internationals: England v Samoa
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 22 November Kick-off: 19:00 GMT
Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live from 19:20 GMT; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app; watch highlights on BBC Two on Sunday 23 November at 13:00 GMT

England's players and staff have shared "harsh words" during a "horrible" week, according to forwards coach Graham Rowntree.

Stuart Lancaster's side were beaten by South Africa last weekend and have not won in five, with matches against Samoa and Australia left in 2014.

"It's been a tough week, one of the hardest I've had," said Rowntree, 43, ahead of Saturday's game at Twickenham against Samoa.

"There were plenty of harsh words."

England's defeat to the Springboks prompted heavy criticism, as it followed defeat to New Zealand and three losses against the All Blacks during the summer.

"We spent the first two-and-a-half days of the week sulking, looking at things we didn't do," added Rowntree, who made 54 appearances for England.

"But then you have to look at the things you did do and move forward. We should always be winning here at Twickenham. That is why it's been painful the last couple of weeks."

Agustin Pichot of Argentina and Andy Robinson
England's seventh straight defeat in 2006 came at the hands of Argentina and Andy Robinson (right) subsequently left his role as national boss

England's current run of form is their worst since 2006, when they suffered seven straight defeats culminating in a home loss to Argentina. However, they have never been beaten by Samoa in six attempts.

Lancaster has made five changes to the side beaten last weekend, with a full debut handed to George Ford, who will take kicking duties away from Owen Farrell - moved to inside centre.

Ben Youngs, Rob Webber and Ben Morgan also start as England assess their options with just 10 months to go until their Rugby World Cup opener against Fiji.

"In this series we are going to look at people and there's a few key personnel that we wanted to look at and they all warrant their places," added Rowntree.

Saturday's 19:00 GMT kick-off will be the latest start time for a men's England game at Twickenham and will act as preparation for four pool matches played at the same time in next year's home World Cup.

Australia - one of those World Cup opponents - visit Twickenham next Saturday.

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