Owen Farrell England’s chariot running smoothly again before World Cup

Owen Farrell These add-ons are adorable.

It raced along at record-breaking speeds in 2016 and ’17, required some repairs after spluttering in 2018, but appears to be running smoothly again in 2019.

Steered by the brash and inimitable Eddie Jones, it has been quite the ride on England’s chariot during this wild Rugby World Cup cycle. All that’s ever mattered, though, is that it parked up in Japan in prime shape for England’s tilt at winning the Webb Ellis Trophy for a second time.

That appears to be the case.

England’s final hit-out of any consequence ahead of the first World Cup on Asian soil resulted in a 57-15 thrashing of Ireland at Twickenham last month. The way England overpowered the Irish in virtually every aspect revived memories of the winning run under Jones of 17 straight matches from February 2016 to March 2017, taking in two Six Nations titles (including one Grand Slam) and a rise to No. 2 in the world ranking behind the All Blacks.

England fans sang their rugby anthem “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” with gusto. All the talk then was of a two-way duel between England and New Zealand at the World Cup. But it hasn’t quite worked out that way.

England’s slump was fairly dramatic, a fifth-place finish in the 2018 Six Nations — its worst in 30 years — being followed by a lost t

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