Six Nations 2015: Goode and Nowell can deliver for England, says Farrell
England backs coach believes incoming duo are ready to bring their impressive club form to the national team against Ireland
Andy Farrell is convinced that Alex Goode and Jack Nowell can deliver for England against Ireland in Dublin on Sunday.
Saracens full-back Goode has already been confirmed as starting against Joe Schmidt’s side in the third round of the RBS 6 Nations after Mike Brown was ruled out through concussion, while Exeter Chiefs wing Nowell will start on the left wing after he replaced Jonny May in Stuart Lancaster’s 26-man training squad.
He’s super excited. All you ask from a player waiting in the wings is form them to be ready – he certainly is.
Andy Farrell on Alex Goode
With England and Ireland remaining as the only unbeaten teams left in the championship, the match at the Aviva Stadium is already being billed as a potential championship decider.
Goode is no stranger to the England set-up despite not having played for the Red Rose since their demoralising 30-3 defeat to Wales at the Millennium Stadium in 2013 when chasing a Grand Slam.
The 26-year-old, who plays alongside Farrell’s son Owen at Saracens, has happier memories of his last outing at the Aviva Stadium with an impressive display in England’s 12-6 win and, more importantly for England, he is in supreme form for his Aviva Premiership club.
“Alex, coming in, is an experienced guy himself who has been waiting for his chance,” Farrell told Englandrugby.com.
“His form for Saracens in the big games against Munster and Clermont has been exceptional.
“He’s super excited. All you ask from a player waiting in the wings is form them to be ready – he certainly is.”
Nowell, too, is enjoying a good run of form after recovering from injury and he inspired the Chiefs to a 32-21 win over Harlequins at The Stoop last weekend.
Week-in, week-out he has been dangerous in all areas of his game for Exeter. The time is right for him.
Andy Farrell on Jack Nowell
With five appearances in last year’s Six Nations and a maiden try in the final match against Italy in Rome to his name before being struck down by injury and missing the summer tour of New Zealand and the QBE Internationals in November.
But Farrell believes that the 21-year-old winger will easily slot into the back three in Dublin with Bath’s Anthony Watson keeping his place on the right wing and the rest of the back division expected to remain unchanged after England’s opening two wins over Wales and Italy.
“Jack was having an awful time with injury six months ago and he’s been biding his time,” Farrell added.
“It’s only the last month or so he’s been able to train properly with us.
“Week-in, week-out he has been dangerous in all areas of his game for Exeter. The time is right for him.”
With concussion a hot topic throughout rugby union following the decision taken to sideline Ireland out-half Johnny Sexton for 12 weeks, and then the furore surrounding Wales wing George North’s double head knock against England in the opening round, Farrell insists that Brown’s welfare is their top priority.
“It was the right and proper thing to do for us to make the call,” Farrell added.
“Getting himself right for the next game is the main priority.
“The symptoms were not too severe whatsoever; he just had a bit of a headache.
“He’s fine within himself, chirpy enough, but it just isn’t worth the risk. His health comes first.
“We’re missing an experienced player in fantastic form who stands up in pressure situations and performs extremely well.
“With the young backline we’ve got, he has been a massive help for us.”
England head coach Lancaster names his team to face Ireland on Friday morning.