Lancaster: We earned respect

Stuart Lancaster insists England will embark on their summer tour to New Zealand having earned the world champions' respect at Twickenham on Saturday.

The All Blacks recorded their 13th successive victory this year with an engrossing 30-22 triumph in the final of the autumn's QBE Internationals.

England play three Tests in New Zealand next June in what is the sport's ultimate challenge and Lancaster believes the hosts will be expecting a tough series.

"I'd like to think we earned their respect. They knew they'd been in a tough Test match," the head coach said.

"After losing at Twickenham last year there was an awful lot of motivation for them coming into this game, probably higher than most other games they've played in.

"That's a powerful force, plus we were facing a starting team that had 842 caps and that was protecting an unbeaten record.

"To get ourselves to a point where we're disappointed not to have won is a positive reflection on us."

England will play the first Test on June 7 with a weakened team due to the Aviva Premiership final being staged at Twickenham seven days earlier.

The proximity of the dates means Lancaster is resigned to being unable to field his first choice starting XV until the second Test on June 14.

While England's head coach still regards the series as a worthwhile exercise, he accepts the scheduling issue will hamstring preparations for the opening international.

"I don't think it renders the series meaningless but it's certainly not ideal. I wouldn't have chosen this way," he said.

"There's nothing to be done at this point. It was an inherited situation I found myself in.

"We looked at the calendar but nothing could be moved and my understanding is that it was all set in stone years ago.

"We'll go into the first Test with 100 per cent commitment to win it.

"We'll have our Premiership finalists arrive after that and then we'll make decisions for the second Test."

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