- Andy Farrell proud to be part of such a united England squad
- Backs Coach discusses experience of captaincy decisions being under scrutiny
England have suffered single score defeats to Australia and South Africa in the last two weeks and while their frustration is evident, they can be proud of their collective reaction in times of adversity.
That’s the view of Backs Coach Andy Farrell, who believes the way the group has responded to the outcry after Chris Robshaw’s decision to kick for the posts in the final moments of the loss to the Springboks is a clear example of their unity and faith in one another.
Farrell who was, and remains, the youngest captain in Great Britain Rugby League history at 21 years and four month said: “It makes you proud, there is absolutely no doubt about that.
“It makes you proud to be involved in such a tight-knit group. When you look at the reaction to the game in every paper you pick up or what people tell you about it, it’s all about the decision [of Robshaw].
“But that’s irrelevant to that group, we’re fully behind, not just Chris, but every decision that any players within this group makes.”
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Having captained GB for eight years, Farrell is well versed in high-profile decision making and explained how he picked himself up when his calls on the field were put under scrutiny by the wider world.
“First of all by the realisation that everyone is allowed to have an opinion and that there is never a black and white answer to whatever decision anyone makes,” he said.
“There are always splits and divisions over what’s the right call and what’s not the right call and if you put all of that into perspective and take the emotion out of it, you can move on.”
After facing number three (Australia) and number two (South Africa), the final QBE International is against world champions and number one in the IRB rankings New Zealand, a team unbeaten in 20 Tests.
As Stuart Lancaster explained earlier in the week, the players are desperate to round the autumn off with a win and the mood in the England camp is far from a nothing to lose mentality.
Farrell sees it as an honour to play against “one of the best sporting teams in the world” but says England can beat them if they get the mentality right.
“We’re an excited bunch that doesn’t get flustered by the challenge ahead,” he added. “We see it as a privilege to play against the best in the world. We see it as a privilege to be around at such a time when the test we’re coming up against is one of the best sporting teams in the world at this moment in time.
“They are beatable because it’s sport. On the day you’ve got to make sure you understand what they’re about and try and take the space away from them and not let them do what they want to do. It’s easier said than done but we’ve got to have a champion’s attitude this week, there’s no doubt about that.”