- England can overturn All Blacks, says Catt
- Farrell will not shirk from challenge of Carter
England Attacking Skills Coach Mike Catt may not have ever beaten the All Blacks in his playing days but he says if England can remain strong in defence, be clinical in their finishing and not get intimidated then they have a good chance of overturning New Zealand.
New Zealand will got into today’s match as the number one ranked team in the world and are on the back of a 20 game unbeaten run while in contrast England have lost their past two matches against South Africa and Australia and are still after a major southern hemisphere scalp in 2012.
A lack of composure when finishing has thwarted England’s chances of victory in the past two games but Catt is confident that if England restrict New Zealand and play their own game then victory is not out of grasp.
“The key today is not be too intimidated by it all,” said Catt. “They are a fantastic attacking side but there have been opportunities when they are defending. We have to make sure we are very clinical and that we don’t give away any mistakes.
“Wales gave them three or four turnovers in their own half and next thing you know you are back down in your own 22. We have to make sure we hold onto the ball as when they get it they are exceptional at finishing things off.
“Our defence has been exceptionally good in the past three weeks so it’s something that we will continue to build on. We know a lot more is going to come at us today and the guys are aware of that.”
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New Zealand will field a star-studded lineup with the likes of flanker Richie McCaw and fly half Dan Carter in the XV chosen by coach Steve Hansen. England coach Stuart Lancaster has made just one change to the XV that faced South Africa, with Saracens fly half Owen Farrell coming in to replace the injured Toby Flood.
Catt says that Farrell, who is only 21-years-old, is up to the challenge and will embrace the opportunity to play against the likes of Carter.
“It’s a massive challenge for him as a 21-year-old but as he showed over the Six Nations and in South Africa he is a model professional and he has got that big game mentality. He does things that other people don’t do on those big game occasions and it will be great to see him up against the best fly half in the world and I am sure he is exceptionally excited about it.”