Farrell wants winning end to series

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Published: Friday 28th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Andy Farrell has demanded England end their autumn on a triumphant note when they clash with Australia in the climax to the QBE Series at Twickenham on Saturday.

The Wallabies must be toppled if respectability is to be salvaged from a month that promised much until defeats by New Zealand and South Africa led to accusations the team has regressed since the RBS 6 Nations.

It is a game England dare not lose as the countdown to next year’s home World Cup continues, but Farrell welcomes the pressure.

“This is a big game. We’re disappointed with having lost two games and we obviously want to finish the autumn on a high with a performance and scoreline to match,” Farrell said.

“We want a great performance heading into the Six Nations. I’m excited about this match and the fact we’ve lost out marginally in a couple of games, albeit we’ve not been at our best.

“Australia are in a very similar position to us. This match is the end of their season and they want to finish on a high. It’s a big game for both teams.

“If you can take the positives out of the defeats then it’s that Australia have become the pressure game we want. The bigger the game, the better at this stage.”

England and Australia collide in a pivotal World Cup group showdown at Twickenham on October 3 – Wales also share a heavyweight pool – but Farrell subscribes to the view that events on Saturday will have little influence on what happens 10 months hence.

“Australia are just getting together as a newish side as well. We’re all in trouble if we don’t improve between now and then,” Farrell said.

“Our performances have not been what they could be, so it’s important that we go away with a good feeling within the camp.

“We want to wake up on Sunday morning and say our goodbyes to one another and say that is the standard we want to come back to.

“It will make it a lot easier if we come into the Six Nations on the front foot.”

The stakes are equally high for the Wallabies, who arrive at Twickenham on the back of successive defeats to France and Ireland.

“Australia are renowned for attacking football. They have shown this autumn that they like to run the ball from everywhere. They will be our biggest test defensively,” Farrell said.

England’s coaching team will watch Friday night’s televised Aviva Premiership clash between Bath and Harlequins in expectation that Sam Burgess will make his union debut from the bench.

Farrell, himself a former league great, believes Burgess must be given time to learn the code.

“In the first three or four months we should cut him some slack and allow him to make his errors, find his feet and work it out for himself,” Farrell said.

“We should all look forward to watching him play and look forward to him getting on the field.

“But don’t expect too much, let’s judge him farther down the line.”

Published: Friday 28th November 2014 by The News Editor

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