Owen Farrell has promised England will “look at ourselves” following a record-breaking loss at home to France.
England had no answer to a rampant France during a 53-10 Six Nations rout at Twickenham on Saturday — their heaviest home loss in 152 years of Test rugby history and third largest anywhere.
World Cup hosts France, the reigning Six Nations champions, were too strong for England across the field.
Les Bleus ran in seven tries, including several superb scores, as they ended an 18-year wait for a Championship win at Twickenham in spectacular style.
Many England fans left long before the conclusion of a second defeat in four matches under new coach Steve Borthwick, while others who stayed booed the team at the final whistle as ‘La Marseillaise’ echoed round ‘headquarters’.
“As an England player you never expect to be in this situation,” said Farrell, who came off the bench to replace Henry Slade in the 46th minute having started the tournament as England’s captain.
“I don’t think you ever expect to lose like that at home as an England team. You don’t expect to lose like that anywhere as an England team.”
The 31-year-old Farrell, a veteran of 105 England caps, added: “We’ve got to improve. This will make us have a good look at ourselves.
“I’m gutted. Everybody in the changing room is disappointed to lose in the fashion that we did.”
Borthwick’s decision to drop Farrell to the bench and replace him at fly-half with Marcus Smith dominated the build-up to this latest edition of ‘Le Crunch’.
Smith was selected in the hope that England could capitalise on the supposed lack of mobility among France’s forwards.
But the identity of England’s No 10 was rendered irrelevant by the pace, power and skill of a vastly superior France team.
“When you end up behind on the scoreboard and you’re chasing, sometimes things turn out like that,” Farrell said.
“I’m not sure it’s a true reflection of our team but credit to France for the way they played. They were clinical.”
Having been hammered by the side ranked number two in the world, England conclude their Championship campaign next week in Dublin against top-of-the-table Ireland — a team coached by Farrell’s father Andy.
“At this moment in time, we’ll obviously analyse our own game first,” said Owen Farrell of the clash with the Six Nations title-contenders.
“We’ve got a chance to watch them, but I imagine a pretty good chunk of it will be focusing on us and seeing what we can improve and how we can do it together.”
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