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England 00:00 New Zealand

Andy Farrell: England have the quality to cause a shock against the All Blacks

Last Updated: 27/11/12 3:32pm

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Andy Farrell: Backing England to get back among the tries against New Zealand

Andy Farrell: Backing England to get back among the tries against New Zealand

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Andy Farrell has dismissed suggestions that England lack enough of a cutting edge to beat the best teams in the world.

England face world champions New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday, with their attacking game coming in for criticism after scoring just one try in the defeats to Australia and South Africa.

Despite those back-to-back defeats at Twickenham, Farrell insists England are in a 'great place' ahead of their final autumn Test against the All Blacks.

"They have played against two very good teams and the reality of the South Africa game was that we were the best team," he said.

"You can't not be in a good place when you review the game in its entirety.

"There were a couple of places we would like to improve but in the (wet) conditions and in the circumstances we were taking the game to a side who were in good form and had won games recently at a canter.

"We were piling on the pressure and making inroads. Of course there were errors because of the conditions but they made errors too. We were pushing right to the end."

The challenge for England to attack off quick ball will be even tougher this weekend with the All Blacks, and Richie McCaw in particular, masters of competing at the breakdown.

"They have grown up massively in the last three or four years," said Farrell. "They don't just pile into the breakdown and make it difficult, they are very accurate in that area.

Fast ball

"Richie McCaw is the master of biding his time, letting it all unfold and then pouncing to make it accurate.

"They have played against two very good teams and the reality of the South Africa game was that we were the best team. You can't not be in a good place when you review the game in its entirety."
Andy Farrell

"We have to make sure we are on the ball because, like any other team, if we get fast ball, if we get over the gain-line and continuity then we can do some damage."

England will finalise their 23-man squad on Tuesday night and there is one decision still to take, namely whether Courtney Lawes returns in place of Mouritz Botha.

Lawes has been training with England since last week and made his comeback from a knee injury with 60 minutes for Northampton on Saturday.

"Courtney has come through well so we have a decision to make there," Farrell said.

Alex Corbisiero did not train with the team on Tuesday as the England medics manage his return from a knee injury, but Farrell is confident the loosehead prop will be fit.

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