12 Jun 2014

England prop claims All Blacks' aura of invincibility gone

5:58 am on 12 June 2014

The All Blacks' aura of invincibility is gone for England prop Joe Marler, who says his team's fighting loss in Auckland last week raised their belief that they can match the world champions.

England, the only team to beat top-ranked New Zealand in the past two seasons, lost the series-opener 20-15 last weekend against a rusty All Blacks side many had thought would thrash the tourists at their home Eden Park fortress.

England will have their pick of many of the first-choice players that missed the Auckland match due to the nation's club final earlier this month and should field a stronger side on paper for the second test in Dunedin.

Marler says England went into the first test last having spent the build-up trying to get rid of the All Black myth or aura of how they are invincible.

He says Saturday's near miss helped the tourists go even further in believing they can go toe-to-toe with the men in black.

Marler says he, like many English players, used to have a mental block surrounding the All Blacks apparent invincibility, but that has changed and they now know they're beatable.