Barritt to be 'pillar of strength'

Thu, 21 Feb 2013 15:08
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Brad Barritt may not be a fans' favourite but so long as he has the respect of his teammates he is perfectly happy to keep adding to his tackle count.

Brad Barritt may not be a fans' favourite but so long as he has the respect of his teammates England's midfield defensive anchorman is perfectly happy to keep adding to his tackle count.

All great teams feature a balance of skills and defence has become a key component of the modern game.

It may not win man-of-the-match awards but such is the importance of the 26-year-old South Africa-born Saracens centre to Stuart Lancaster's set-up the England head coach has so far resisted the temptation to start with the more seemingly attack-minded midfield duo of Billy Twelvetrees and Manu Tuilagi.

Barritt surprised his critics by scoring a well-taken try during England's shock 38-21 win against world champions New Zealand at Twickenham in November.

He has since helped the team to the top of the Six Nations table by featuring in victories over Scotland and Ireland.

Much will be expected of England's midfield rock should a France side bidding, astonishingly, for a first win this Six Nations opt for the centre pairing of Wesley Fofana and Mathieu Bastareaud at Twickenham on Saturday.

"Everyone enjoys a fast attacking game but you can also enjoy grinding out a win and being a pillar of strength -- defend and lead from the front," Barritt said.

"I like to think I'm adaptable and can play what's in front of me.

"As long as you have the respect of the team you are in and the people you play for, that is what matters.

"It may take longer for others to see it but you need to be true to yourself and keep working because, eventually, people will see it.

"You just have to ensure you are doing your best for the side every day. I am very satisfied so far."

In Dublin, Barritt helped neutralise the threat of Ireland's vastly experienced midfield duo of Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy.

At more than 18 stone in weight, Bastareaud is far more of a physical handful than the Irish pair.

"He is a big physical presence but size isn't everything in rugby," Barritt said. "If we get our line speed right the biggest guys can fall just as hard.

"That is something we work hard on as a team, getting our line speed right and not allowing teams to get any momentum.

"The way we applied pressure on the Irish and intensity in the kick chase were monumental to our success in Dublin.

"We are confident because of what we have done -- but we are aware we need to improve because we expect a resurgent France team at Twickenham."

AFP

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Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
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Sun, 17 December 2017
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Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0
France 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0