England begin their Rugby World Cup campaign against Tonga on September 22
Last Updated: 13/09/19 7:37am
England captain Owen Farrell believes the disappointment of exiting at the pool stage in their home 2015 World Cup made them a “better team”.
Farrell is preparing to lead his country into the Rugby World Cup in Japan following a successful four-year period since Eddie Jones took over as England head coach after an early exit in the 2015 competition.
Following the disappointing performance four years ago, Farrell insists it will have differing impacts on those in Japan who were involved in 2015.
Farrell said: “There will be people who are still holding on to it, maybe.
“There will be people who feel like they will have dropped it, there are people who will feel like it will have made them better.
“It (2015) was difficult at the time. I am not going to sit here and pretend it didn’t hurt. It was a tough time, especially just after that period.
“I like to think that it spurs you on to become a better player, to become a better team. As you saw after that, we grew tighter and we went on a good run.”
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.
However, England have arrived in Japan as one of the favourites for World Cup glory after three wins out of four in the recent warm-up matches, and Farrell insists his side will have the resilience for whatever challenges arise.
He said: “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.
“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.”
The record 57-15 victory against Ireland at Twickenham in August was the highlight of the warm-up games, even though all teams are keeping their cards close to their chest as to what their preferred starting XV is.
Farrell added: “I feel like we’re building, but we can’t just expect it to happen. You have to put the work in.
“These have been big international matches which we want to get right and win, but more importantly there is a big picture to it as well. We want to make sure we’re getting things right.”
England begin their Rugby World Cup campaign on September 22 against Tonga, before facing their remaining Pool C opponents USA, Argentina and France.