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England Coach Andy Farrell talks about the England team.

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England Coach Andy Farrell talks about the England team. Empty England Coach Andy Farrell talks about the England team.

Post by maestegmafia Wed 13 Mar 2013, 8:46 am

By Mick Cleary, The Telegraph 12 Mar 2013



Andy Farrell insists that the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday will hold no fear for England even though there is a Grand Slam and championship at stake.

The former Great Britain rugby league captain knows all about true hostility after experiencing a Test match at the Lae Oval in Papua New Guinea in the mid-1990s.

“We were chased around the field with sticks,” Farrell recalled on Tuesday as England had their first session of the week, still harbouring doubts over injured lock Joe Launchbury. “We had to try to jump on a minibus to get away at the end. The minibus was backed up to the gates, the gates opened and we all had to pile on this minibus.

"All of a sudden, everyone was hitting the minibus and we were saying, ‘Go, go, go’. We left a reporter, Dave Hadfield, behind. He feared for his life! As for the Millennium, 11 of our lads have never played there. It’s a deafening noise and we have to make sure we’re ready for that.”

If evidence were needed to illustrate that England are not fazed by what awaits them in Cardiff then a look at the relative home and away records will do it for them. England have not lost a Six Nations game on the road in the Stuart Lancaster tenure dating back to February 2012. For all its supposed mythical, uplifting qualities, Wales have not won at the Millennium Stadium (excepting against the Barbarians) since they clinched the Grand Slam against France last March.

“Self-belief has taken over from fear in our squad and each time we are confronted with situations, we keep getting better and stronger,” said Farrell. “When we have had a challenge thrown at us we have responded. We know that we’re hard to beat, that we can go to these places and win.

"It’s true that Wales have been there and done that. You would expect trophies to go with experience but somebody else’s experience has to start somewhere and we have to be challenging to win our first trophy. We back our culture to try and get our first experience of silverware. It is the ultimate test to go there and win. But it is where we want to be. ”

Farrell has no doubts that England, despite their faltering performance against Italy, have all that it takes to contend with the defending Grand Slam champions as well as a raucous crowd housed under what is likely to be a closed roof. The England management have already taken steps to remind the squad of their reaction to high-profile, pressurised occasions by showcasing their victory against the All Blacks in December.

“It comes back to knowing what it takes to make it happen,” said Farrell. “There is definitely a feel of that New Zealand week already. I already feel we’re in a good place knowing what is needed.”

Farrell does not make any great claims for himself yet as an international coach as he is still a fledgling operator at this level, only 15 months into the job. He refuses to see Saturday’s clash as a head-to-head with his former Wigan team-mate, Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards. Farrell has edged out Edwards for the job of Lions assistant coach. Yet there is a close bond between the men.

“We’re both Wiganers and we both get back there as much as we possibly can, banging into one another at events,” said Farrell. “I asked him for advice as a kid. He was one of the leaders in the great Wigan side who took me under his wing as a 16-year-old. Shaun used to put me in his car and took me to see his agent. He used to say: ‘I’ll look after you if you promise me you’ll be my captain when I’m a coach.’ He would have been 24 or 25 at that time and already knew he wanted to be a coach. He saw me as a young kid who he wanted a relationship with. I suppose that’s how it is when you’re from a small town.”

England will make a final ruling on Launchbury’s hyperextended elbow ahead of tomorrow’s team announcement.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Wed 13 Mar 2013, 9:34 am

I have to say, I think the England coaching set up are doing a really good job in terms of changing the culture of the side. They understand where they are at and are not getting ahead of themselves. At the same time they appear to be challenging the players to improve on the field as well.
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Post by hugehandoff Wed 13 Mar 2013, 9:53 am

feet appear to be on the ground...at this rate our Celtic cousins will get annoyed at England's lack of arrogance

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Post by Big Wed 13 Mar 2013, 10:08 am

Ozzy3213 wrote:I have to say, I think the England coaching set up are doing a really good job in terms of changing the culture of the side. They understand where they are at and are not getting ahead of themselves. At the same time they appear to be challenging the players to improve on the field as well.

I'm inclined to say let's see where things sit on Sunday. This time two years ago we'd had a decent away win the preceeding summer, a great win against Aus and had won 4 from 4 much more convincingly. For a number of reasons the world cup was a total disaster, and a lot of MJs weaknesses were exposed - arguably trusting players to take it seriously rather than laying down the expected behaviour and ditching anyone that didn't go with it, and having persisted too long with players (and coaches?) that he knew from his playing days. Lancaster has sorted those problems, but equally I think MJ would have realised what had happened and sorted them himself had he carried on post world cup.

I'm also slightly concerned that Lancaster brings his own issues - in the way that MJ perhaps had too much faith in the players and coaches he'd worked with in his playing days, perhaps Lancaster is a bit too keen on some of the players he worked with as Saxons (and Leeds) coach. As a result there's still a question mark in my mind as to whether we have really moved forwards or just stepped sideways. The only game where England have been really good so far this 6 nations is Scotland, and we really need another top notch performance to convince me the team really is on the up, after all we've won 4 in each of the last tournaments, and arguably played some better rugby along the way. Play badly on Saturday and that good performance (+ the NZ game) look like a blip. Play well and the poor performance against Italy looks like the blip.

Even assuming that England do well and win on Saturday, it's also arguable one of the main reasons we have been doing relatively well in recent years, is because there is a new generation of players that have come through the academy system set up by Ashton (I think). Guys like Robinson, Ashton and even MJ in his early days would have given a lot for the quality of young 20 somethings that are coming through now. While all were guilty of sticking with some old hands when it was perhaps time to move on, they didn't have a fraction of the upcoming talent we have now making the case for inclusion.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Wed 13 Mar 2013, 10:19 am

All good and very valid points Big, and nothing there for me to argue with. All I would say is that I just get a feeling from this coaching set up that they know what they want to achieve and have a plan of how to do it.
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Post by RubyGuby Wed 13 Mar 2013, 10:35 am

All very nice talky stuff, I'm sure something similar was said before the Italy game - It counts for nothing - Good luck in Cardiff thumbsup

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Post by Jimpy Wed 13 Mar 2013, 10:44 am

Ozzy3213 wrote:All good and very valid points Big, and nothing there for me to argue with. All I would say is that I just get a feeling from this coaching set up that they know what they want to achieve and have a plan of how to do it.

You do get the feeling that the current set up is in for the long haul and realise that rugby dynastys aren't built overnight. I have confidence that England will take a poor performance (which they still took a win from) and turn into a more positive one on Saturday - more confident than i would have been under previous set-ups. Of course, you'll still get the usual muppets pouncing on one poor performance by England to fuel their own insecurity, these should be ignored - win or lose on Saturday, England are still moving in the right direction.

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Post by RubyGuby Wed 13 Mar 2013, 10:47 am

win or lose on Saturday, England are still moving in the right direction.

+1 clap

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Post by sickofwendy Wed 13 Mar 2013, 10:57 am

Sounds like Dave hadfield was lucky not to be eaten.

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Post by yappysnap Wed 13 Mar 2013, 11:06 am

RubyGuby wrote:All very nice talky stuff, I'm sure something similar was said before the Italy game - It counts for nothing - Good luck in Cardiff thumbsup

+1

This coaching set up more than any other so far are very, very, media canny.

Get past that and I just don't think we've seen enough, or know enough facts to be able to judge their coaching credentials. Lancaster, Farrel and Catt all have question marks over them at the moment, they've done a lot to get rid of them and have built a culture of hardwork (in most players anyway) and cool heads under pressure (since the AI's anyway) but we still have to worry about attacking skills, tactics and selections in the backs.
w
Don't forget that this side could set a new record for the least tries scored by an English team team in 6N's history. While MJ's team scored some of the highest numbers of tries.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 13 Mar 2013, 11:19 am

but we still have to worry about attacking skills, tactics

Yappy, i agree with this...and i think regardless of the result on Saturday...it must be looked at on the Argentina tour...

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Post by Jimpy Wed 13 Mar 2013, 11:38 am

yappysnap wrote:
RubyGuby wrote:All very nice talky stuff, I'm sure something similar was said before the Italy game - It counts for nothing - Good luck in Cardiff thumbsup

+1

This coaching set up more than any other so far are very, very, media canny.

Get past that and I just don't think we've seen enough, or know enough facts to be able to judge their coaching credentials. Lancaster, Farrel and Catt all have question marks over them at the moment, they've done a lot to get rid of them and have built a culture of hardwork (in most players anyway) and cool heads under pressure (since the AI's anyway) but we still have to worry about attacking skills, tactics and selections in the backs.w
Don't forget that this side could set a new record for the least tries scored by an English team team in 6N's history. While MJ's team scored some of the highest numbers of tries.

So you're worried about most aspects of England's game?setup?

Is it really cause for so much concern?

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Post by yappysnap Wed 13 Mar 2013, 11:38 am

Yea Geordie, I hope that because the press will be chasing the Lions and doing their best to big that up they'll forget about the England tour and let the boys just get on with it.

What's the weather meant to be like in Argentina in the summer? Is it very hot?

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Post by yappysnap Wed 13 Mar 2013, 11:40 am

Jimpy wrote:
yappysnap wrote:
RubyGuby wrote:All very nice talky stuff, I'm sure something similar was said before the Italy game - It counts for nothing - Good luck in Cardiff thumbsup

+1

This coaching set up more than any other so far are very, very, media canny.

Get past that and I just don't think we've seen enough, or know enough facts to be able to judge their coaching credentials. Lancaster, Farrel and Catt all have question marks over them at the moment, they've done a lot to get rid of them and have built a culture of hardwork (in most players anyway) and cool heads under pressure (since the AI's anyway) but we still have to worry about attacking skills, tactics and selections in the backs.w
Don't forget that this side could set a new record for the least tries scored by an English team team in 6N's history. While MJ's team scored some of the highest numbers of tries.

So you're worried about most aspects of England's game?setup?

Is it really cause for so much concern?

I don't think I explained that too well, I'm worried about the tactics and set up in the backs, the pack looks to be on the up, it's the backs where a lot of work needs to be done.

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Post by Hood83 Wed 13 Mar 2013, 12:47 pm

maestegmafia wrote:By Mick Cleary, The Telegraph 12 Mar 2013



Andy Farrell insists that the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday will hold no fear for England even though there is a Grand Slam and championship at stake.

The former Great Britain rugby league captain knows all about true hostility after experiencing a Test match at the Lae Oval in Papua New Guinea in the mid-1990s.

“We were chased around the field with sticks,” Farrell recalled on Tuesday as England had their first session of the week, still harbouring doubts over injured lock Joe Launchbury. “We had to try to jump on a minibus to get away at the end. The minibus was backed up to the gates, the gates opened and we all had to pile on this minibus.

"All of a sudden, everyone was hitting the minibus and we were saying, ‘Go, go, go’. We left a reporter, Dave Hadfield, behind. He feared for his life! As for the Millennium, 11 of our lads have never played there. It’s a deafening noise and we have to make sure we’re ready for that.”

If evidence were needed to illustrate that England are not fazed by what awaits them in Cardiff then a look at the relative home and away records will do it for them. England have not lost a Six Nations game on the road in the Stuart Lancaster tenure dating back to February 2012. For all its supposed mythical, uplifting qualities, Wales have not won at the Millennium Stadium (excepting against the Barbarians) since they clinched the Grand Slam against France last March.

Self-belief has taken over from fear in our squad and each time we are confronted with situations, we keep getting better and stronger,” said Farrell. “When we have had a challenge thrown at us we have responded. We know that we’re hard to beat, that we can go to these places and win.

"It’s true that Wales have been there and done that. You would expect trophies to go with experience but somebody else’s experience has to start somewhere and we have to be challenging to win our first trophy. We back our culture to try and get our first experience of silverware. It is the ultimate test to go there and win. But it is where we want to be. ”

Farrell has no doubts that England, despite their faltering performance against Italy, have all that it takes to contend with the defending Grand Slam champions as well as a raucous crowd housed under what is likely to be a closed roof. The England management have already taken steps to remind the squad of their reaction to high-profile, pressurised occasions by showcasing their victory against the All Blacks in December.

“It comes back to knowing what it takes to make it happen,” said Farrell. “There is definitely a feel of that New Zealand week already. I already feel we’re in a good place knowing what is needed.”

Farrell does not make any great claims for himself yet as an international coach as he is still a fledgling operator at this level, only 15 months into the job. He refuses to see Saturday’s clash as a head-to-head with his former Wigan team-mate, Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards. Farrell has edged out Edwards for the job of Lions assistant coach. Yet there is a close bond between the men.

“We’re both Wiganers and we both get back there as much as we possibly can, banging into one another at events,” said Farrell. “I asked him for advice as a kid. He was one of the leaders in the great Wigan side who took me under his wing as a 16-year-old. Shaun used to put me in his car and took me to see his agent. He used to say: ‘I’ll look after you if you promise me you’ll be my captain when I’m a coach.’ He would have been 24 or 25 at that time and already knew he wanted to be a coach. He saw me as a young kid who he wanted a relationship with. I suppose that’s how it is when you’re from a small town.”

England will make a final ruling on Launchbury’s hyperextended elbow ahead of tomorrow’s team announcement.

Oh God...has anything really changed re culture? This is the sort of thing that always gets said by England coaches. Ok i don't expect him to say we'll get stuffed but I wish he just said - 'We're confident, but Wales are a top side.' and leave it at that.

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Post by RubyGuby Wed 13 Mar 2013, 12:48 pm

“There is definitely a feel of that New Zealand week already. I just hope and pray that Wales are suffering with the shixts as well.”
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Post by Hood83 Wed 13 Mar 2013, 12:53 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
but we still have to worry about attacking skills, tactics

Yappy, i agree with this...and i think regardless of the result on Saturday...it must be looked at on the Argentina tour...

I still think the jury's out entirely on the coaching set-up. A blunt performance on Sat and what will this 6Ns have shown us? What areas can we say we've hugely moved forward. I'd say discipline, rucking (in the first two games at least, could be proven wrong on Sat) but not much else jumps out at the moment. Scrum, line-out, attack, ball-carrying - its yet to be seen IMO whether we're moving in the right direction or not. Some credit is deserved, but I'm nowhere near as convinced as others it seems.

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Post by Big Wed 13 Mar 2013, 1:35 pm

yappysnap wrote:Yea Geordie, I hope that because the press will be chasing the Lions and doing their best to big that up they'll forget about the England tour and let the boys just get on with it.

What's the weather meant to be like in Argentina in the summer? Is it very hot?

Sort of agree. I'm very worried about the Argentina tour though.

First up it is a very very difficult tour for a depleted squad. They are at least as good as the 6 nations opposition, and we will undoubtedly have lost a few of our star players. We will also be missing Farrell and Rowntree on the coaching side.

Secondly, there is serious danger that we will be trying new players in the positions that are already well covered (forced because the better players will be in Aus). The players that aren't good enough to go off will more than likely be the same ones that us England fans think are out of form/just not that good - but instead of trying alternatives I can easily see Lancaster insisting on retaining them to ensure 'continuity'.

On a final note, why should we be worried about Argentina in the summer? It will be winter when the squad go there! Wink

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Post by maestegmafia Wed 13 Mar 2013, 1:53 pm

If England do get the slam it will be a remarkable achievement. It has been the most competitive Six Nations in years... Unless you are French for the last thirty minutes of a match.

Even still the French haven't lost badly to anyone and could easily have won all their games. Likewise Ireland, and too a degree the ever improving Italy.

Scotland have been resurgent and if Wales had of beaten Ireland this could have been a GS finale of massive proportions...

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Post by aitchw Wed 13 Mar 2013, 2:03 pm

I keep on saying this side is so far from the finished article it will suffer defeats along the way and Saturday could easily be one of them. It hasn't developed enough yet to the point where a defeat is a shock. We have too many positions where there isn't enough depth and I don't expect that to be resolved before 2014 6 Nations. There are major areas where work is needed many of which have already been rightly identified. We are floundering about with back 3 selection, we don't have the options at 8, we don't have enough depth in the front row and could do with more in the 2nd row. I am confident though that all of these are temporary problems and Lancs is working hard on building that depth. If we lose a few to the Lions it will give more opportunities in Argentina for others.

My only concern for Saturday is, if we lose, in what manner we lose. Wales have done brilliantly well to turn things around, well done. England has to earn respect for the manner in which they play win or lose and then I'll be happy especially if we lift the title. The Slam? Well that would be awsome.

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Post by gregortree Wed 13 Mar 2013, 2:42 pm

yappysnap wrote:Yea Geordie, I hope that because the press will be chasing the Lions and doing their best to big that up they'll forget about the England tour and let the boys just get on with it.

What's the weather meant to be like in Argentina in the summer winter ? Is it very hot?

Yappy, Argie is in the SH, so corrected that for you.

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Post by yappysnap Wed 13 Mar 2013, 2:59 pm

Doh

So...rain then? At least we're used to that

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Post by RubyGuby Wed 13 Mar 2013, 3:01 pm

With the ongoing discussions and rumblings about The Malvinas I'd be expecting it to be very hot out there thumbsup

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Post by gregortree Wed 13 Mar 2013, 3:54 pm

So long as President Cristina Fernandez presents the winners medals with the good grace managed by John Howard in 2003, I'm sure the weather will not matter that much.

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Post by Breadvan Wed 13 Mar 2013, 6:34 pm

RubyGuby wrote:“There is definitely a feel of that New Zealand week already. I just hope and pray that Wales are suffering with the shixts as well.”
thumbsup

Hopefully Farrell and Catt have snaeked into the V.O.G hotel disguised as chefs, Chef Blackadder 3rd style, and substituted some ingredients for the Welsh squad.. Very Happy
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Post by RubyGuby Wed 13 Mar 2013, 6:54 pm

You mean The Walsh Squad Breadvan thumbsup

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Post by thebluesmancometh Wed 13 Mar 2013, 7:11 pm

RubyGuby wrote:You mean The Walsh Squad Breadvan thumbsup

You and glas need to change your names, the poor efforts of puns coming from both of you recently is stinking up the place!!!

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Post by RubyGuby Wed 13 Mar 2013, 7:20 pm

Hug thumbsup

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