England finished runners-up to Grand Slam-winning Wales in last season’s Six Nations but their progress under Stuart Lancaster was checked by a 2-0 series defeat to the Springboks this summer.
However Lancaster has opted for youth for the games against World Cup winners New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and Australia, with uncapped forwards Mako Vunipola and Tom Youngs called up.
Lancaster’s men have extra incentive to overcome the challenges of their southern hemisphere opponents – if they can retain their fourth-placed ranking they will be top seeds for the World Cup draw on 3 December, and Farrell insists England are more than up to the task.
“We are at a stage now where if we are not excited about coming back from the summer tour of South Africa, with what we learned out there, and taking on these teams then we are in the wrong game,” said Farrell.
“This group of players have been through a lot in a short space of time and they will be ready for the challenge.
“We have to go out there with the belief straight from the beginning. We believe we have a bunch of players who can keep moving forward and that is exciting.
“The summer tour clearly defines where we need to go next. The first two Tests we showed remarkable character.
“The intensity, the fight, the courage was there for all to see in the third Test.
“That’s what the nation really saw and jumped on board with during the Six Nations. The next step for us as a group is to add the fine detail. It’s absolutely crucial we kick on.”
© Sportsbeat 2012
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