Tom Wood
Wood wants to reconnect with history.

England flanker Tom Wood has outlined how Stuart Lancaster's side will sought to gain an advantage of their opponents in the lead up to the 2015 World Cup.

An overhaul of the Twickenham changing rooms and tunnel has seen the addition of the names of former players above each changing area while individuals in Lancaster's squad have been asked to consider the meaning behind playing for their country.

The England management hope it will help the current crop connect with the jersey and hand the side an emotional advantage going forward to a World Cup on home soil.

Defeat to Wales at the Millennium Stadium which dismantled England's grand slam and Six Nations charge last Spring was the most damaging of Lancaster's tenure in charge and Wood reveals the loss has sparked a change in emphasis.

"From a player's point of view, we felt that after that Wales games that particularly the Celtic nations put us on the back foot a little bit in terms of emotional energy," said Wood, who captained England during the summer tour to Argentina.

"We had a little look at that and what we wanted to do was reconnect with our heritage. We don't talk enough what it means to be English about the pride we have in the England shirt, the rose and where it has come from.

"We've talked about what kind of character has worn the England shirt and what we need to live up to and make some of those connections and that's something we're developing.

"We're trying to create some tradition around the team," the Northampton blindside flanker added. "We feel we've gone away from that a little bit. In the professional era it's been all about statistics and game-to-game we wanted to create something special about what it was to be an England player; that national identity.

"Hopefully, when we start embodying that and showing that on the field the nation we get behind us and it will be a powerful thing and we could go into games with that 1% extra that could be the difference."

The build-up to the 20-13 win over Australia was the first opportunity for England to implement such techniques and while victory wasn't accompanied by a performance akin to last year's defeat of New Zealand, Lancaster's side showed sufficient heart to kick-start their autumn campaign.

Matches against Argentina this weekend and world champions New Zealand follow, prior to next year's Six Nations, and as well as Lancaster including some new faces, both sides are likely to experience a new-look England.

The 27 year old said: "I can't say there has been a tangible difference in the performance but in the build-up in the last 24 hours I can.

"I've stood in my England shirt and I've thought I'm playing for this reason. There is a tendency to think of it as just another game but when you look into the history you know you've got a hell of a lot to live up to.

"About 24 hours, 48 hours before the game it is crucial you understand why you're playing and what you do it for. To get that amateur feel of the camaraderie among the players and the blood sweat and honour of playing for England.

"We were asked to go away and come up with what it meant to play for England; personal things and to share that with the rest of the group. You then have a connection with the guy next to you because you know why he's playing and there was some pretty emotional stuff there. It does bring you tighter as a group."