England will rise to Welsh challenge

Wed, 13 Mar 2013 13:03
Large andy farrell points Large andy farrell   stuart lanca Large andyfarrellhuddle Large rowntree and farrell630 Large andyfarrellrhino

Assistant coach Andy Farrell says England have proved in recent months that they have what it takes to prevail against Wales.

Assistant coach Andy Farrell says England have proved in recent months that they have what it takes to prevail against Wales in Saturday's Six Nations decider in Cardiff.

England, gunning for their first Grand Slam in a decade, face a Wales team who have swept all before them three times in that period, including in last year's championship.

However, Farrell believes the experience England gained in the draw against South Africa last June and the subsequent 38-21 defeat of New Zealand at Twickenham in December will stand them in good stead.

"When we have had a challenge thrown at us, we have responded," Farrell said.

"It is the ultimate test to go there and win, but it is where we want to be.

"Wales have been there and done it. They have been a tremendous side over the years. They have a lot of experience and won Grand Slams.

"It is going to be a tremendous challenge because experience should come through. You would expect trophies to go with the experience.

"We don't mind a bit of adversity. It is where we have been good in our short time together.

"Experience has to start somewhere and we have to be challenging to win our first trophy."

Farrell singled out the memorable win over world champions New Zealand - which followed back-to-back losses to Australia and South Africa - as proof that England need fear no-one.

"What pleased me most about that win was the adversity of us losing the two games before it and the pressure it put on us," he said.

"The performance that came out of that showed a team that isn't going to fold under pressure.

"People's expectations were then for us to kick on. We played well against Scotland and showed character through the rest of the Six Nations to get where we are now."

Since cruising to a four-try victory over Scotland in their Six Nations opener, England have struggled to break down their opponents with the ball in hand.

Despite beating Ireland, France and Italy, they have run in just one try, with their finishing against the Italians particularly poor.

Farrell accepts that England must do better against Wales, but he says it would be wrong to draw too many conclusions from Sunday's 18-11 win over Italy.

"They [Wales] look hard to break down and they seem to have pride in their defensive line," he said.

"The game is about accumulating points to win the game. If you look at points, they are on 92 for the tournament and we are on 91, so we are obviously doing something right.

"Wales have scored two more tries. We must have been doing something right to get all the three-pointers in the first place and end up on the same points.

"We didn't have the composure to convert our chances into tries and we have to be better at that.

"Tries don't just come from attack. They can come from set pieces, from your kicking game, from all areas of the field.

"We have to make sure all areas of our game are switched on this weekend to break that good defence Wales have."

Farrell revealed that Joe Launchbury had not trained on Tuesday, but said the lock's elbow injury "ain't as bad as we first feared".

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 08h45 Melbourne
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 2 2 0 0 8
Ireland 2 1 0 1 6
Wales 2 1 0 1 5
France 2 1 0 1 5
Scotland 2 1 0 1 5
Italy 2 0 0 2 0