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Monday 18
March

Rugby Union

Farrell lauds England backline

7th March 2019, 14:17 by Daniel McCarthy

England fly half Owen Farrell admits he would not like to face up against the backline they are deploying against Italy on Saturday.

Looking to respond to the disappointing 21-13 loss to Wales a fortnight ago, coach Eddie Jones has made a quintet of changes to his side from that game.

The Australian has opted for power throughout his revised line up with starts for Ben Te’o at centre, Ellis Genge at prop, and Joe Cokanasiga on the wing.

Brad Shields and Joe Launchbury have also been restored to the starting XV, while the likes of Jack Nowell and Courtney Lawes are on the treatment table.

And Farrell says the added height and power in the backline will provide an intimidating prospect for Italy and says he would not relish the thought of playing against them.

"It's massive - I wouldn't like to play against it," Farrell told BBC Sport.

"We need to make sure those boys get in the game."

Winger Cokanasiga, who made his England bow in November’s autumn internationals and scored tries against Japan and Australia, was reserved special praise by Farrell, who says he is a great all round player.

"He's massive, he's very quick, he's got brilliant skills and he's brilliant in the air," Farrell said of the 6'3" 18-stone back.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Daniel McCarthy is a reporter who is very knowledgeable about football at all levels, and a keen Leeds United fan. He also follows darts, snooker, motorsport, and rugby league.

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