Farrell denies O'Connor criticism
March 8, 2012
Owen Farrell has backed England's style © Getty Images
Owen Farrell has rejected the claims of Leicester head coach Matt O'Connor suggesting England are negative and play each game "trying not to lose".
O'Connor's comment formed part of a stinging attack on the way Leicester's out-of-favour half-backs Toby Flood and Ben Youngs have been treated by England's interim coach Stuart Lancaster. The Australian believes the interim management team are not interested in creative players, but Farrell insists England's new-look side proved against World Cup semi-finalists Wales that they are prepared to take on the best in the world.
"He is entitled to his own opinion. We have our own views. We are excited about the way we are playing at the minute," Farrell said. "The way we played against Wales was a massive step in the right direction for us and we all thought that.
"It was still disappointing to lose a game when we created quite a few chances but we are massively excited about the way we are going and I hope we can build on that.
"I don't see how else you go into a rugby game (but trying to win it). I don't think I have ever had a mindset to just avoid defeat otherwise you don't play how you want to do. The way we played the game against Wales the other week proved that."
England struggled to showcase Lancaster's attacking gameplan as they battled to away wins against Scotland and Italy, with Hodgson scoring a charge-down try in each game. But with Farrell impressive at fly-half, England turned in a more encouraging offensive performance in their 19-12 defeat to Wales two weekends ago.
Lee Dickson, Manu Tuilagi and Ben Morgan all came into the starting XV and injected a pace and tempo into England's attacking game that had been missing.
"We have got brilliant players all over the field and we are using them right at the minute, we just need to finish our chances," Farrell said. "We are going in the right direction. It is coming.
"There is a structure in place but it is a structure which allows you to be yourself and play the way you play. We have got massive belief in what we are trying to do. Every game we have got better as a team."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September