- Barritt praises England's progress since All Blacks win
- A win in Cardiff would be a dream, says centre
Brad Barritt reckons the dream of finishing England’s RBS 6 Nations campaign with a win in Cardiff will show just how far the team has come in the past year.
Stuart Lancaster’s side head to the Millennium Stadium with sights on a first Grand Slam since 2003. If they overturn the Welsh on their own turf it will be England’s sixth consecutive international victory, a run which started with victory over New Zealand in December.
Saracens centre Barritt has played every game except one under Lancaster’s leadership, missing the second Test in South Africa last summer due to a lacerated eyeball. As a regular starter at No.12 since Lancaster’s appointment last March, Barritt has seen the progression first hand.
England won four games in last season’s RBS 6 Nations, including three away wins for the first time in history, but then failed to gain a win in the summer Tests in South Africa. This was followed by two narrow defeats to Australia and The Springboks in the autumn. However, a record win against New Zealand, in which Barritt his first Test try, kick-started England’s recent run of form and in Barritt’s eyes a win against Wales would be a fitting end to a strong period of rugby for the side.
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“It would be phenomenal to win,” he said. “A lot of hard work has been done since last year’s Six Nations but more so in last seven weeks so to finish off what has been a great campaign would be a dream come true. I don’t think you can compare the Six Nations to anything – it can only be second to a World Cup.
“We have confidence not just because of the win against New Zealand but also because of what has happened over the past year. There have been monumental strides made for this team and we have learnt a lot about ourselves in South Africa and on back of that All Black victory in autumn.”
England are four from four in this year’s RBS Six Nations following a tight victory over Italy last weekend. An away win at Wales would secure the title but they will have to expect a tough match, especially with the hosts aiming to deny England a Grand Slam and sneak the trophy for themselves. Barritt says the team is not phased by having to play in front of the baying Millennium Stadium crowd and believes the side’s strong away form in the Six Nations will give them a boost.
“I think this team thrives on playing in hostile environments,” added the 26-year-old. “In the past two years we have not lost away in the Six Nations so we can take a lot of confidence from that. At the end of day it’s a pitch with two posts on the end. Whatever happens on the periphery is irrelevant and as long as we get the detail right and be more accurate things can be great for us.”