Owen Farrell confident England ready for World Cup challenges

Owen Farrell
Owen Farrell

Owen Farrell insists England's quest to lift the World Cup this autumn will be built around a core of resilience that will prepare his team for whatever challenges arise.

Eddie Jones' men embarked on a record-equalling unbeaten run of 18 Tests in 2016 and 2017, a sequence that included two Six Nations titles, but they hit the buffers for much of a deflating 2018.

Aside from a defeat by Wales in Cardiff and a collapse to Scotland, they have since provided evidence that their swagger is back, most notably in a pair of overwhelming wins against Ireland.

England will arrive at the ninth and most competitive instalment of the World Cup among the favourites and Farrell believes they will be best served by adopting an unyielding approach.

"We want to be able to deal with anything that's thrown at us through our togetherness, by not budging, and ultimately we want to win," Farrell said.

"We want to find a way to win and be able to be competitive through the full 80 minutes again, and beyond that if needs be. I think we'd enjoy being that way. We have to make sure that, come game time, we are as adaptable and proactive as we need to be in order to get results."

Outright preview of Rugby World Cup
Outright preview of Rugby World Cup

This summer's progress towards Japan has been encouraging with a record 57-15 victory over Ireland at Twickenham on August 24 the highlight, even if the four warm-up Tests are something of a poker game with no team wanting to reveal their full hand.

"I feel like we're building, but we can't just expect it to happen. You have to put the work in," Farrell said.

"These have been big international matches which we want to get right and win, but more importantly there is a big picture to it as well. We want to make sure we're getting things right come September."

Farrell was a key figure in England's last World Cup appearance when they failed to advance from the group stage despite hosting the global showpiece.

The dismal performance four years ago has been a stain on the nation's rugby history and Farrell insists it will have differing impacts on those destined for Japan who were involved.

"There will be people who are still holding on to it, maybe," Farrell said. "There will be people who feel like they will have dropped it, there are people who will feel like it will have made them better.

"It (2015) was difficult at the time. I am not going to sit here and pretend it didn't hurt. It was a tough time, especially just after that period. I like to think that it spurs you on to become a better player, to become a better team. As you saw after that, we grew tighter and we went on a good run."

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