Johnson hands out Six Nations warning

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England have been warned by coach Martin Johnson that they cannot afford to let their standards slip as they look ahead to three successive Twickenham games starting with Italy next Saturday.

England, having launched their Six Nations title challenge with a first win in Cardiff since 2003, suggested they could be on course for a Grand Slam but Johnson tempered such talk and pointed to how close Italy pushed Ireland in their 13-11 defeat in Rome.

“Wales was a big, emotional game with lots of build-up and it was a great occasion,” said Johnson. “But we have to perform whatever the build-up and we have to set our standards higher and be better than we were in Cardiff.

“We have to handle this well and turn up next week and produce the same amount of energy and tempo and improve our execution.

“The expectation with Italy is always a little bit wrong. They are very awkward and tough. They keep the ball away from you, they don’t concede a lot of points and they are a pretty good team.

“It is important we get the mindset right.”

Fly half Toby Flood had an outstanding game and will ensure Jonny Wilkinson remains on the bench. Italy were only beaten by Ronan O’Gara’s 78th minute drop goal and Ireland coach Declan Kidney admitted they weren’t at their best.

With Italy, Scotland and France are all due at Twickenham before England round off the championship in Ireland.

Defending Grand Slam champions France showed their quality with 34-21 victory over Scotland in Paris - the 11th time in twelve Six Nations tournaments Scotland have suffered defeat on the opening weekend.

France showed their class with four tries but the Scots also showed they are capable by scoring three tries themselves although they were left to lament lost possession which the French punished.

Scotland face Wales at Murrayfield next weekend whilst France go to Dublin.