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Farrell: We don't fear Ireland

Andy Farrell insists Ireland's daunting record against England will hold "no fear" for his young side.

Ireland have beaten England in seven of their last eight championship meetings since Sir Clive Woodward's side won the Grand Slam in 2003. But Farrell, preparing for his last game as England assistant coach before he returns to Saracens, stressed that history will count for nothing at Twickenham.

England have already won at Murrayfield for the first time in eight years, pushed World Cup semi-finalists Wales to the brink and broken France's 10-game unbeaten home record in the championship. Farrell said: "Ireland have a good record here but that means nothing to this England group. Only a handful of these players were involved in any of those games."

He added: "We are aware of the record - like we were aware of the record at Murrayfield, the challenge of Rome, the form Wales were in and France's home run. There seems to be a challenge every single week but these boys aren't frightened of anything. We are up for any type of challenge. We don't know fear."

England have won all three of their away matches in a Six Nations campaign for the first time ever, including last weekend's landmark 24-22 victory over France in Paris. Stuart Lancaster has capped nine new players this campaign and discovered England stars of the future in the likes of Owen Farrell and Ben Morgan.

"Maybe a few other people have had their expectations exceeded but not ourselves," Farrell said. "We were always confident we could get results. You are judged on performances as well, and they've been very good.

"Our initial expectations were for this young side to develop week-in and week-out, to get used to the international environment. We were always confident in the selections we made along the way. "We picked on form, for the here and now and for the future.

"That's unfolded as well as anyone could have hoped and we now hope to take it to another level this weekend."

Chris Robshaw was appointed captain with just one cap to his name and he has led from the front, setting the standards for England in work ethic and tackle count.

"When Chris was appointed people wondered whether it was possible to come in and captain an international side with just one cap to his name," Lancaster said. "It is testament to Chris that he has had the ability to do that, to manage the demands of captaincy and also produce performances of a consistently high quality."


From Belfast Telegraph