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Owen Farrell insists England’s quest to lift the World Cup this autumn will be built around a core of resilience that will prepare his team for whatever challenges arise.
Eddie Jones’ men embarked on a record-equalling unbeaten run of 18 Tests in 2016 and 2017, a sequence that included two Six Nations titles, but they hit the buffers for much of a deflating 2018.
Aside from a defeat by Wales in Cardiff and a collapse to Scotland, they have since provided evidence that their swagger is back, most notably in a pair of overwhelming wins against Ireland.
England, who enjoyed a recovery session by paddleboarding in the sea this week, will arrive at the ninth and most competitive instalment of the World Cup among the favourites and Farrell believes they will be best served by adopting an unyielding approach.
“We want to be able to deal with anything that’s thrown at us through our togetherness, by not budging, and ultimately we want to win,” Farrell said.
“We want to find a way to win and be able to be competitive through the full 80 minutes again, and beyond that if needs be. I think we’d enjoy being that way.
“We have to make sure that, come game time, we are as adaptable and proactive as we need to be in order to get results.”
This summer’s progress towards Japan has been encouraging with a record 57-15 victory over Ireland at Twickenham on August 24 the highlight, even if the four warm-up Tests are something of a poker game with no team wanting to reveal their full hand.
“I feel like we’re building, but we can’t just expect it to happen. You have to put the work in,” Farrell said.
“These have been big international matches
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