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Barritt relishing defensive role

England's tough tackling centre Brad Barritt has no qualms about sacrificing his looks for his country.

Barritt has five stitches in his chin following Sunday's RBS 6 Nations victory over France and the marks of an intense physical battle around his right eye.

But the 25-year-old relishes those scars of battle as evidence of his commitment to the England cause and said: "You want to step up physically. I have five stitches on my chin. At this point the looks aren't getting any better and I just have to make do with what I have got!"

He added: "If it is about helping the team it is a good feeling to come away with that and just show how hard you are willing to work for your team-mates.

"That has been one of the strengths of this side from the outset.

"Each player wants to be a leader themselves. You have guys willing to put themselves in harms way and ultimately try and save a sticky situation."

According to England's own statistics, Stuart Lancaster's side have made 759 tackles in four matches so far this campaign, including a record number of 238 tackles in their victory over Scotland at Murrayfield.

Chris Robshaw led the way against France with 25, Geoff Parling made 20 and Barritt in midfield is arguably England's best defender.

"It is just as important as someone making good yards or scoring a try," Barritt said.

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