Farrell: England defence feared in world rugby

BACKS coach Andy Farrell feels England’s solidity in defence makes them one of the most feared sides in international rugby.

Stuart Lancaster’s men are fourth in the overall International Rugby Board world rankings and are currently the highest ranked northern hemisphere team.

Their strength has been evident at the RBS Six Nations where England have conceded only three tries in as many matches and Farrell feels their potency in defence makes them a tough proposition for any opponent.

“We want to have a reputation that we are a force to be reckoned with as far as defence is concerned,” he said.

“Building a reputation is massively important. Teams can already see the difference in what we are trying to do. We are a side that likes to force errors on the opposition and make sure they realise it will be a physical, hard game.

“It is definitely part of our mantra. That is why we are hard to play against.”

England missed 21 tackles in their 23-13 win over France at Twickenham last time out, most notably when Courtney Lawes failed to stop Wesley Fofana from crossing for the visitors’ only try of the game.

However, Farrell believes a one-off error of judgement should not undermine his team’s ability in that department.

“I wouldn’t want us to be a passive defensive side that back off and doesn’t put pressure on the opposition,” he said.

“If you do that, there will be misses here and there.

“No defensive system is unbreakable.”