Six Nations: Mike Catt says Italy are capable of making England work very hard on Sunday

Last Updated: 10/03/13 2:46pm

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Mike Catt: England have come a long way in a short time

Mike Catt: England have come a long way in a short time

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England's attacking skills coach Mike Catt has warned fans not to expect a thrashing of Italy at Twickenham on Sunday.

England will be just one win away from a Grand Slam if they can beat the Italians and two years ago they ran in eight tries against the Azzurri at home to prevail 59-13.

They also showed plenty of attacking prowess during the 38-18 win over Scotland which kicked off their campaign this year, but Catt says victory on Sunday is more important than flowing passing moves.

"This team is far from the finished article," he said on Saturday. "You are expecting six or seven tries tomorrow, but we have only been together for a year.

"That expectation is there and it is brilliant. We are creating it with our performances but international rugby doesn't always go that way.

"You want the perfect performance every time and you want to entertain a Twickenham crowd that has been brilliant for us.

"But this Italian team are a hell of a side at the moment. You have got to be mindful of the fact that this Italian side is not the Italian side of 10 years ago.

"This Italian team are a hell of a side at the moment. You have got to be mindful of the fact that this Italian side is not the Italian side of 10 years ago."
Mike Catt

"If we have to kick every penalty to win games we will take that, because that is what the opposition allows you to do.

Clinical

"We want to make sure we are clinical, that we have the composure to do what we want to do, and what people expect us to do.

"When you look at where this team has come from, it is incredible. A year ago you wouldn't have thought we would be in this position."

Following the win over Scotland, England were more workmanlike against Ireland and France, and Catt says the latter display did not please the team.

"They were both massive, massive wins," he said. "Against Ireland we kicked ourselves to victory on the back of a really dogged defensive performance.

"You can't underestimate what France brought but we spoke after the game about our accuracy and the players were pretty harsh on themselves.

"This is now a massive eight days for these guys."

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