Rugby England vs Ireland: Owen Farrell warns Rugby World Cup rivals ‘the best is in front of us’ after record victory

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Owen Farrell put the rest of the world on notice in the aftermath of England’s record 57-15 win over Ireland by stressing their best performances remain ahead of the squad, while Eddie Jones warmed that man-of-the-match Manu Tuilagi still has “20 per cent to go” before he reaches his peak.

England blew their Six Nations rivals off the Twickenham pitch in an eight-try rout that saw Tuilagi rise to the fore alongside Joe Cokanasiga, with the young wing scoring twice in a World Cup warm-up demolition.

Ireland were only entering their second of four warm-up matches while England found themselves a game further into their preparations, but the contest was killed off in 12 emphatic second-half minutes as they ran in 21 unanswered points through Maro Itoje, George Kruis and Tom Curry tries.

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“We feel like we are going in the right direction, and are building towards something,” said captain Farrell, who finished the day with 15 points and made the most of his partnership with George Ford to unlock England’s rampant backs. “Today is another step along. The most pleasing thing is that it feels like our best stuff is still in front of us.”

If that is to prove true in Japan, Saturday’s result served to demonstrate why Tuilagi is so crucial to their World Cup hopes. The Leicester Tigers centre scored the third try that gave England breathing space heading into the break, taking a short pass from Ben Youngs and outpacing an Irish defensive line that had been sucked in towards the scrum, while his bone-crunching second-half tackle on Jordan Larmour highlighted England’s physical advantage.

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