Farrell demands England reaction

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Published: Friday 13th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Andy Farrell has demanded England react to their RBS 6 Nations setback in Dublin by keeping themselves relevant to the title race.

Scotland visit Twickenham on Saturday in the penultimate round looking for their first victory at the home of English rugby for 32 years and a maiden win of the 2015 tournament.

A chastening 19-9 loss to Ireland has left England needing the champions to slip up against Wales if they are to seize a first crown under Stuart Lancaster and Farrell admits his players are determined to atone for an afternoon of disappointment at the Aviva Stadium.

“What happened against Ireland is a massive factor for this game,” England’s backs coach said.

“If you put that alongside the fact we are still in with a shout of winning the competition, then those two things together are a pretty powerful thing leading up to this game. Hopefully we’ll put in a performance that matters.

“You learn a lot from a loss. Lads who haven’t been in that type of position before will have learnt a lot.

“Did we let ourselves down against Ireland? We didn’t play our best, but Ireland like most good sides have a way of making an impact on the game and they did that very successfully.

“There is a determination to put a performance in.”

The two key shortcomings against Ireland were a subdued day at the breakdown and a high penalty count for technical offences that enabled the champions to generate momentum.

The dismal starts that have seen England concede early leads in each of their three Six Nations games to date must also be addressed.

“We’re confident about the breakdown and our discipline for this week. They have been big areas that we have worked on,” Farrell said.

“We’ve worked on all aspects of the game this week, making sure we’re ready for all aspects that could happen.”

England have restored full-back Mike Brown and lock Courtney Lawes to their starting XV after the duo recovered from concussion and an ankle injury respectively.

France visit Twickenham next Saturday in the climax to the Six Nations and Farrell has called for a strong finish to the Championship with the home World Cup just six months away.

“The lads can feel the difference when they’re playing at home these days, the excitement of the crowd playing behind them,” Farrell said.

“There is a genuine excitement that we’ll be finishing the tournament off at home.

“Hopefully we can put in a couple of performances that will give us a chance of winning the Six Nations, never mind the World Cup.”

Published: Friday 13th March 2015 by The News Editor

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