LONDON - England coach Stuart Lancaster is looking to his side's forthcoming tour of Argentina and the British and Irish Lions series in Australia to find out more about the composure of a youthful group of players who suffered a collective loss of nerve in failing to complete a Grand Slam against Wales.
Saturday's humbling 30-3 loss, the heaviest of Lancaster's reign, denied England both a clean sweep and the Six Nations Championship, the Welsh retaining the title they won last season to the delight of a raucous crowd of more than 74,000 at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.
Several days on, England's frustration with the rulings of Kiwi-born Australian referee Steve Walsh at the scrum and breakdown was still evident, but Lancaster accepted his side remained a work in progress when it came to handling the pressure of a big occasion away from Twickenham.
But with a number of his players set to be involved in Lions action against the Wallabies, with the next best tier on their way to Argentina for what is sure to be a tough series with the Pumas, Lancaster believes the post-season tour schedule will provide him with useful feedback ahead of the 2015 World Cup in England.
"The next step is for our best players to go to the Lions and see how they develop under that pressure, which will be significant, and for (England assistant coach) Mike Catt and I to take another group of players to Argentina and make sure we get that depth of talent we really need to see emerge," Lancaster said on Tuesday.
"It will be critical for us because we go to a hostile environment and put ourselves under pressure. That is why we want midweek games as well.
"It gives us a chance to work with a wider group of players and see which players can make the transition from club to country and play and deliver in a hostile environment."