Defence coach Farrell demands England show no mercy to Fiji

Sat, Nov 10, 2012, 00:00

England v Fiji: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.

The buzz-phrase in the England camp this week has been that this 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.”

The very fact that 82,000 will cram into Twickenham tomorrow 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.

Prop Joe Marler, fullback Alex Goode and blindside flanker Tom Johnson all continue in the side that drew in Port Elizabeth and will make their first Test appearances at Twickenham.England’s most experienced unit are the half-backs, with Toby Flood and Danny Care — man of the match in Port Elizabeth – contributing 83 caps to the combined total of 215. Lancaster’s plan is that the bulk of this England squad will be around at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, wiser still and far more experienced.

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