Rugby Union

Andy Farrell urges nation to get behind England ahead of crunch Australia clash

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Andy Farrell has issued a rallying cry ahead of England's attempt at saving their World Cup in response to savage criticism from former national team captain Will Carling.

Australia must be dispatched at Twickenham on Saturday if they are to avoid becoming the first host nation to exit the tournament at the group phase, a fate made possible by the 28-25 loss to Wales.

England have been stung by the reaction to the setback against Warren Gatland's underdogs, particularly comments made by Carling in which he accused Stuart Lancaster of presiding over a "classroom orientated environment" and treating the players as "schoolboys".


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Farrell reacted angrily to Carling's words and called on the country to throw their support behind the team leading into the do-or-die showdown with the Wallabies.

"It is disappointing. We need everyone behind us this week - the media, the whole of the nation, the crowd. We need to batten down the hatches together. Let's go for it," backs coach Farrell said.

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"We are all English, aren't we? We are English. That is what I'd like to see. Do we want to do well in this competition? Do we all realise what is at stake this weekend? Of course we do.

"Let's get behind the team everyone and let's help the players. Of course we will batten down the hatches internally and focus on the job because we have to.

"We have to be calm and collected and execute under pressure properly, but let's get a feelgood factor going through the country and let's go and do this together at the weekend. All that matters now is that we're in knock-out football."

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