Saracens Owen Farrell praises win over Italy ahead of Wales clash
- Credit: PA
Saracens Owen Farrell says England's morale-boosting Guinness Six Nations Rugby victory over Italy at Twickenham puts them in good stead for their next game against Wales.
The Red Rose bounced back from their Calcutta Cup blip against Scotland two weekends ago to overpower a resilient Italian outfit 41-18 at RFU headquarters.
Captain Farrell kicked 11 points between the posts while fellow Sarries Elliot Daly scored the sixth and final try for Eddie Jones's troops.
Brothers Mako, who returned to the squad after recovering from an Achilles injury, and Billy Vunipola, Mato Itoje, Jamie George and Bristol Bears loanees Ben Earl and Max Malins also appeared.
“It’s a step forward for us,” Farrell said. “In terms of what we were after, in terms of intent, in terms of energy, in terms of how we attacked the game, I thought that was brilliant.
“It felt like we were back to ourselves. Obviously there was still stuff we could do better, it wasn’t a perfect performance, but that doesn’t leave us in too bad a place going forward.”
And Farrell thinks the victory puts England back in contention to retain their Six Nations mantle as they prepare for their mouthwatering clash with second-placed Wales on February 27 at Cardiff's Principality Stadium.
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Wales and table-topping France, who beat Ireland 15-13 in Dublin, are the remaining unbeaten sides in the competition.
"We're at where we at," Farrell said. "We're two games in with six points. We're obviously built on last week which was a disappointment. We're going to work hard to prepare for Wales and put ourselves in the best possible position we can be.
"We always want to be better than the week before. We've got another week to prepare for Wales so we'll be looking to do everything we can."
Billy Vunipola praised Italy and believes Wales will be a big test.
"Next game against Wales is a big one for us because we've got to keep on track," he said. "Today was about that and making sure we be positive and play in the right places. Although we didn't come away with many points as we like, I think Italy are a very good team so credit to them."
And the "Big V" summed up the happy mood in the England dressing room after the victory by adding: "Everyone's buzzing but what people seem to forget that you tend to lose sometimes. I guess it's a credit to what Eddie's built here. If you do lose a game and if you don't get a grand slam it's a disappointment.
"We've just got to get our head down and keep working hard. As I said in a couple of weeks time Wales is our biggest game."