We must disrupt Wallabies flair, says Farrell

Ross McLean
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ENGLAND coach Andy Farrell insists it is imperative his side combat Australia’s natural attacking flair with robust industry during their final autumn showdown at Twickenham on Saturday.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster has named an unchanged squad for the clash with the Wallabies, which represents England’s final chance to defeat a southern hemisphere heavyweight ahead of next year’s World Cup on home soil.

England prevailed 20-13 in the corresponding fixture last season by stifling Australia’s multi-phase tendencies, and Farrell believes the Red Rose need to focus on executing a similar game-plan.

“Against any side that like to attack like Australia do, and that is the heartbeat of their game, you have to try to stamp your authority,” said Farrell. “It is all about kick-chase pressure, breakdown pressure and set-piece pressure. It’s the whole combination coming together. We’ve got to have a big say and not let them do what they want to do.

“You look at their profiles and they are very much been-there-done-that. They offer threats all over the field strength-wise and skill-wise and they back themselves. It’s up to us to make sure we have done our homework.”

Michael Cheika’s outfit head into the clash on the back of successive setbacks against Ireland and France, while England’s 29-8 defeat of Samoa has gone some way to masking deflating losses to world champions New Zealand and South Africa.

But the turbulent nature of their season cuts much deeper for Australia who have slipped to an all-time low of fifth since the introduction of world rankings, having recorded just one win from their last six Tests.

Cheika is only four games into his tenure after taking the reins from Ewen McKenzie last month but Farrell believes his charges are already showcasing the hallmarks associated with sides led by the former Leinster and Waratahs supremo.

“Work-rate, physicality and will to win, they are all Waratahs traits and they have all been shining through straight away,” added Farrell.“There’s a great spirit within their camp and they’ve played some great rugby on this tour although they’ve had a couple of defeats. I’m sure they’ll want to finish strongly.

“It’s massive for us to prove to ourselves that there is a top-class, 80-minute, performance in there.”