Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Farrell: England in a "good place"

England assistant coach Andy Farrell has warned his team of the threat posed by Australia vice-captain Quade Cooper.

Andy Farrell senses something special is developing in English rugby that would not be derailed were Australia to prevail in Saturday's QBE International at Twickenham.

Farrell denies defeat to the Wallabies would be a disaster as they seek to launch an autumn that also includes fixtures against Argentina and New Zealand by reclaiming the Cook Cup.

"It's never a disaster. We are building something really good," he said.

"I can sense that feeling from everyone at the Rugby Football Union and from fans.

"I sense everyone feels England are in a good place and moving in the right direction.

"It can't be a disaster after one result. The foundations will be stronger than that.

"We want to put in a performance. The result is massively important to us all, as England, but we want to put on a performance that we're proud of as well.

"Putting in a great performance that we're capable of will naturally surprise them."

England warmed up for last autumn's Cook Cup clash with a 54-12 rout of Fiji, but when it came to facing the Wallabies a week later they were off the pace and lost 20-14.

"We've got to be good at getting up to that type of standard and intensity from game one," Farrell said.

"That's what international football is about. In the World Cup it's going to be knockout football. You have got to be ready.

"There has to be an art to it. The reality is you only get nine days leading up to the first game. You have to be ready."

Farrell revved up the British and Irish Lions before July's deciding Test against Australia in Sydney by declaring "we're taking them to the hurt arena".

The rugby league great stresses the importance of striking the right balance between clear thinking and emotion.

"You have to find ways of fuelling the emotion and getting it to the right place without it going overboard," he said.

"You work on the emotion but also the intelligence that goes with it, how you get it out there. That gives you a great start and you can build on that.

"I feel that emotional intelligence is exactly where it should be going into the match and I'm certainly pleased by that."

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