Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Farrell's Sights on Ruthless Display

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Farrell's Sights on Ruthless Display

Article excerpt

DEFENCE coach Andy Farrell has demanded England show no mercy to Fiji at Twickenham today and deliver a performance which proves they are ready to go toe-to-toe with the best in the world, writes ALEX LOWE.

The buzz-phrase in the England camp this week has been that this QBE autumn series is "production time", that the brutal lessons learned in South Africa over the summer must now be put into practice.

The world's top three nations - Australia, the Springboks and world champions New Zealand - are all due at Twickenham over the next month.

And Farrell wants England to set the tone right from the off by dispatching Fiji and delivering on the growing expectations of the 82,000 sell-out crowd. "We have to be ruthless and show them no mercy," he said after England's final training run at Twickenham.

"We are after a performance. We feel like we have got the foundations in place and now we are ready to put some layers on top. We have to make sure we set the same level as far as intensity, passion and fight - but the boys also understand that they have to kick on.

"To be the best and beat the best, there is an extra 15 to 20 per cent there.

"We are six months into our journey and there has to be improvement. It is about us kicking on to the next level."

The very fact that 82,000 will cram into Twickenham today indicates the growing expectation surrounding Stuart Lancaster's England team.

The last time England played a Test at home they demolished Ireland 30-9 to finish second in the RBS 6 Nations before embarking on their bruising trip to South Africa.

Lancaster's young squad returned with two defeats and a 14-14 draw but with eyes opened to the intensity and execution required to be the very best.

England were beaten up in the first two but they learned quickly and are still kicking themselves for not winning in Port Elizabeth.

But it has left England confident they can deliver against the big three, which is why Lancaster, Farrell and the players have embraced the rising sense of expectation. …

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