Farrell laughs off Telfer jibe
January 29, 2013
Andy Farrell gave Jim Telfer's comments short shrift © Getty Images
A main aspect of Stuart Lancaster's England reign has been to eradicate any sense of arrogance in the national side in the wake of their disastrous 2011 World Cup campaign. Farrell revealed that the players laughed off Telfer's assertion that the team was "too arrogant, too pretentious and too condescending" and also said that some of the individuals who Telfer labelled "impressionable" - it was a claim made in the direction of Chris Ashton, Danny Care, Ben Youngs and Manu Tuilagi - brushed off the comments.
"I definitely don't recognise anything he has said," Farrell said of Telfer's comments. "People say this every year about the English anyway. It has stuck now. That is why we take it tongue-in-cheek. We know exactly what we are about.
"A couple of the lads have seen it and they are all taking the mick out of each other. They think it's quite funny about those who have been mentioned. There are a few jokes flying around the place."
Telfer's comments have certainly stoked the boiler ahead of Saturday's Six Nations opener at Twickenham, where Scotland have not won in 30 years, and that is what Farrell believed Telfer intended. Farrell added: "He's Scottish isn't he, very passionate about his country and he wants to give his lads as much belief as he can.
"He cares about his country. It is him trying to do the right thing by his own country, to try and motivate them. That is what he has always been about really - passion and stirring a few feathers up along the way. It is what you want, a bit of passion."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel
"We were only five metres away in the last Test of getting that try and with Jonny's inevitable conversion, we'd have won it." Tom Hamilton talks to Lions fullback Matt Perry
Toulon's Heineken Cup final victory over Clermont Auvergne may have ended a long title drought for the Top 14 club but two of their players are no strangers to success