Rugby

Farrell: England do not fear All Blacks

England38 - 21New Zealand

England fly-half Owen Farrell insists he is scared of nobody as he prepares to line up against Dan Carter and world champions New Zealand.

 
Farrell: England do not fear All Blacks - RugbyReuters
 

Farrell's no-fear mentality is what marks him out as a special player in the eyes of head coach Stuart Lancaster and it represents England's attitude ahead of Saturday's showdown.

"New Zealand are a world-class team. They are unbeaten in 20 matches - that is the challenge to look forward to, there is no point being scared of it," Farrell said. "Rugby is a game that I love. It's not a game that I'm scared of."

He went on: "It may be a game against the best team in the world but it is still another game of rugby.

"I know we've been on the wrong side of two results (against Australia and South Africa) but we've got better and better and we've pushed teams right to the end.

"Hopefully it's time to win one this weekend."

Farrell's inclusion on the International Rugby Board's player of the year shortlist alongside Carter, Richie McCaw and Frederic Michalak shocked him as much as anyone else.

The 21-year-old was nominated on the back of his Six Nations performances, when he took over as a rookie international fly-half and guided England to wins against France and Ireland.

Farrell lost his place after the first Test defeat to South Africa but played a key role off the bench when England rounded off the series with a 14-14 draw in Port Elizabeth.

"He has huge qualities," Lancaster said. "I don't think the nomination has made any difference to Owen. It hasn't made him any more apprehensive or more confident in his own ability. He is a pretty grounded lad. I don't think he will be getting carried away."

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