Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Farrell calls for ruthless display

Andy Farrell, centre, says England coaches hope the team can reach the next level
Andy Farrell, centre, says England coaches hope the team can reach the next level

Defence coach Andy Farrell has demanded England show no mercy to Fiji at Twickenham and deliver a performance which proves they are ready to go toe-to-toe with the best in the world.

Farrell wants England to set the tone right from the off by dispatching Fiji and delivering on the growing expectations of the 82,000 sell-out crowd, before they meet the world's top three nations Australia, South Africa and New Zealand

"We have to be ruthless and show them no mercy," Farrell said after England's final training run at Twickenham.

"We are after a performance. We feel like we have got the foundations in place and now we are ready to put some layers on top. We have to make sure we set the same level as far as intensity, passion and fight - but the boys also understand that they have to kick on. To be the best and beat the best, there is an extra 15 to 20 per cent there.

"We are six months into our journey and there has to be improvement. It is about us kicking on to the next level. We are aware of what is coming and it doesn't really get any more exciting than the challenge in front of us over the next month."

The last time England played a Test at home they demolished Ireland 30-9 to finish second in the RBS 6 Nations before embarking on their bruising trip to South Africa. Stuart Lancaster's young squad returned with two defeats and a 14-14 draw but with eyes opened to the intensity and execution required to be the very best.

England were beaten up in the first two but they learned quickly and are still kicking themselves for not winning in Port Elizabeth. But it has left England confident they can deliver against the big three, which is why Lancaster, Farrell and the players have embraced the rising sense of expectation.

"It brings a different type of pressure. It is when people are expecting something that you want to go perform. That's what we want to do as players," said captain Chris Robshaw.

"We are under no illusions how dangerous Fiji can be. We have to be ruthless.

"We have to take every opportunity we can and not take 15 minutes to get into the game, like we did in South Africa. We have to deliver from minute one."

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