Andy Farrell calls for ruthless England display against Fiji

Last Updated: 10/11/12 12:00pm

Andy Farrell (left): the foundations are in place

Defence coach Andy Farrell has demanded that England show no mercy to Fiji at Twickenham and deliver a performance which proves they are ready to go toe-to-toe with the best in the world.

The world's top three nations - Australia, South Africa and world champions New Zealand - are all due at Twickenham over the next month.

And Farrell wants England to set the tone for the autumn right from the off against the Islanders. "We have to be ruthless and show them no mercy," he said after England's final training run at Twickenham.

"We are after a performance. We feel like we have got the foundations in place and now we are ready to put some layers on top.

"We have to make sure we set the same level as far as intensity, passion and fight - but the boys also understand that they have to kick on.

"To be the best and beat the best, there is an extra 15 to 20 per cent there. We are six months into our journey and there has to be improvement. It is about us kicking on to the next level.

"We are aware of what is coming and it doesn't really get any more exciting than the challenge in front of us over the next month."

Tackling Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand on successive weekends is probably tougher than anything England would have to overcome to win the World Cup on home soil in 2015.

"That is something we've talked about as a coaching staff and as a team," Farrell added. "The more dress rehearsals you can have the better."


The very fact that 82,000 will be at Twickenham indicates the growing expectation surrounding Stuart Lancaster's England team.

The last time England played a Test at home they demolished Ireland 30-9 to finish second in the RBS 6 Nations before embarking on their bruising trip to South Africa.

"We are aware of what is coming and it doesn't really get any more exciting than the challenge in front of us over the next month."

Andy Farrell

Stuart Lancaster's young squad returned with two defeats and a 14-14 draw but with eyes opened to the intensity and execution required to be the very best.

England were beaten up in the first two but they learned quickly and are still kicking themselves for not winning in Port Elizabeth.

But it has left England confident they can deliver against the big three, which is why Lancaster, Farrell and the players have embraced the rising sense of expectation.

"It brings a different type of pressure. It is when people are expecting something that you want to go perform. That's what we want to do as players," said captain Chris Robshaw.

"We are under no illusions how dangerous Fiji can be. We have to be ruthless. We have to take every opportunity we can and not take 15 minutes to get into the game, like we did in South Africa. We have to deliver from minute one."

England are fielding their most inexperienced side for a decade, with Robshaw one of 11 players in the starting line-up boasting 13 caps or fewer.

Tom Youngs will make his Test debut at hooker in place of the injured Dylan Hartley, just three years after moving to the front row from inside centre.

"I'm very excited to see him play," said Farrell. "I played against him when he was at 12. He was hard to play against then. He's a real bowling ball and he adds an extra dynamic to our team."

Will England win all four autumn internationals?

  • Yes
  • No