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Owen Farrell hoping England can 'put in a performance to get people behind us'

Owen Farrell has urged England to recapture the hearts and minds of supporters by beginning the process of healing their World Cup misery.

The hosts crashed out of the tournament with losses to Wales and Australia, failing to reach the knockout phase for the first time, and reacted by appointing a new coaching team led by Eddie Jones at a cost of over £1million.

Jones takes charge of his first match in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations opener against Scotland at Murrayfield, and Farrell hopes his reign is launched in style.

"Hopefully we can put in a performance to get people behind us. We have been together for a couple of weeks now and we are excited to get out there," Farrell said.

"I don't know whether the fans are excited about seeing us get out there but hopefully after this weekend there will be something positive to talk about."

Farrell won the first of his 36 caps in the same fixture four years ago when England emerged 13-6 victors at Murrayfield in the opening match of Stuart Lancaster's tenure.

"I remember that when the bagpipes led us into Murrayfield. That was my first cap and I just thought that is what happened. I didn't think it was any different," Farrell said.

"When you go to different places, different things happen. We are pretty used to what happens at Twickenham and how things go there.

"You go somewhere else in the world and different things could be happening. It doesn't make a difference to us.

"They're a passionate crowd at Murrayfield. Yes people talk about the hostility, but it's about how passionate you are as a crowd in terms of what you hear."

Farrell has been picked at inside centre for the trip to Murrayfield while Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade continue their rehabilitation from injury, with George Ford selected at fly-half.

The Ford-Farrell axis has started twice before at Test level - against Samoa and Uruguay - but the partnership has served England well at age-grade level.

"I'm really excited about it. We are two guys who think about the game in a pretty similar way," Ford said.

"We are both used to playing at 10 so we can help each other out in terms of managing the game, seeing where the space is and trying to get to that space.

"We will also keep having conversations during the game about what we need to do at that particular time depending on the state of the game.

"The understanding is there. We have played together through the age groups many, many times.

"Owen is a great guy to play with in terms of his energy and his communication, so I am sure having him outside me will help me as a 10."


From Belfast Telegraph