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England in good spirits - Farrell

Andy Farrell insists England are in "a great place" as they crank up their preparations to face world champions New Zealand on the back of two defeats.

Farrell might have had to lift a few players after Saturday's 16-15 loss to South Africa, but the review of the game did that for him.

"I have said absolutely nothing (to lift the players) - they are in a great place," said Farrell. "They have played against two very good teams and the reality of the South Africa game was that we were the best team."

He added: "You can't not be in a good place when you review the game in its entirety. There were a couple of places we would like to improve but in the (wet) conditions and in the circumstances we were taking the game to a side who were in good form and had won games recently at a canter.

"We were piling on the pressure and making inroads. Of course there were errors because of the conditions but they made errors too. We were pushing right to the end.

"You play like that against the second best team in the world and you almost win. Sometimes you win these tight games, sometimes you lose them.

"If we produce the same intensity and the same intent you would like to think you will be in any type of Test match."

England will finalise their 23-man squad on Tuesday evening and there is one decision still to take, namely whether Courtney Lawes returns in place of Mouritz Botha.

Lawes has been training with England since last week and made his comeback from a knee injury with 60 minutes for Northampton on Saturday.

Alex Corbisiero did not train with the team on Tuesday as the England medics manage his return from a knee injury, but Farrell is confident the loosehead prop will be fit.


From Belfast Telegraph