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Catt keen to follow New Zealand example

England may have ditched their experiment of dressing like New Zealand - but skills coach Mike Catt is determined to get his charges playing like the world champions.

When Catt and the England coaching staff returned from watching New Zealand beat South Africa 32-16 in Soweto, they were struck by the sheer ruthlessness of the All Blacks. New Zealand had to weather a ferocious Springbok assault but the accuracy of their execution saw them beat the Boks by four tries to one.

"You look at New Zealand and the way they get one opportunity and score it," Catt said. "Everybody is going to want to get to that situation. It is how we get there and how long it takes us to get there."

He added: "I am not saying it's not there (in the English players) but we have got to get to that, having that belief we can do it. It is about seeing the opportunities and understanding it. That is my role."

England are committed to fielding a back line with two ball-players in the forthcoming QBE autumn internationals, when they take on Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand on successive Saturdays.

Saracens full-back Alex Goode was mentioned heavily in despatches at Thursday's squad announcement for his ability to get involved as that second playmaker. Should Goode hold off Mike Brown's challenge and retain the full-back jersey he wore, England could then field a midfield of Manu Tuilagi and Jonathan Joseph outside fly-half Toby Flood.

If Brown, who is a different style of full-back, was to be preferred then England would look at using a playmaker at inside centre, like Brad Barritt or Owen Farrell.

"From an attacking point of view, I want to see speed of the ball and movement of the ball," Catt said. "New Zealand are very good and accurate at what they do. They are on the front foot a lot of the time and they can bring the big guys into the game.

"You don't have to score tries to beat these teams but ultimately you want to score every time you have the ball. In the Six Nations we scored from defence, with turnovers. We scored a penalty try against Ireland which is just the kind of thing (forwards coach) Graham Rowntree gets off on!

"Each game will offer you different scenarios. Ultimately, we want to be scoring tries."


From Belfast Telegraph