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Andy Farrell feels stronger after 'getting back on horse' following England role

Andy Farrell says he always wanted "to get back on the horse" in terms of his coaching career after no longer being required by England.

Farrell, Mike Catt and Graham Rowntree - who were all part of England's failed World Cup campaign last year - left Twickenham 12 months ago after Eddie Jones was appointed to the head coach's role.

But Farrell has bounced back impressively, taking on defence duties with Ireland and helping to mastermind victories over New Zealand, Australia and South Africa in 2016.

"You take everything badly. If you didn't care, you shouldn't be there in the first place," said Farrell, who will be part of the British and Irish Lions coaching team for next summer's New Zealand tour.

"The World Cup was difficult because it was a home World Cup and you don't get that opportunity again.

"But you have to go through experiences like that in life to see if you come through it.

"You've got to embrace things like that and not let it beat you down. If it does, you are in the wrong profession. I was always super-keen to get back on the horse and get going.

"It makes you stronger and it makes you reflect.

"The review after the World Cup was fantastic for me. It was a good process. It was fantastic to reflect properly, and the time off was great. I am fortunate that I went from a great job to another great job."

Farrell returns for a second successive Lions trip, having been involved under head coach Warren Gatland in Australia four years ago, and he is relishing the opportunity of tackling the world champion All Blacks in their own back-yard.

"If you look at the autumn, the four home nations' confidence after playing against the southern hemisphere is as good as it's been for quite a while," he added.

"And that's great for the Lions because it has to be about belief, it has to be about going there to win a series, it has to be about making history in the hardest place in world rugby.

"Warren has said about the players not getting on the plane if you don't believe you can win. It's the same for the coaching staff and the management.

"I was brought up on three-game series in rugby league. There are all sorts of twists and turns and emotions.

"Is the pressure on the second one (Test) to stay in it (series) or to win it? Are the tactics going to be the same as the first, or do you hold something back? I love that it's three games - winner takes all."


From Belfast Telegraph