Roses should thrive on 'dislike' of them
NEWS: The ‘dislike’ of England, especially by Scotland, is something the Roses should thrive on in the upcoming Six Nations, says England defence coach Kevin Sinfield.
Sinfield realised the extent of the target on England’s backs while spending time with former Scotland players as part of his fundraising for motor neurone disease.
New head coach Steve Borthwick and Sinfield were summoned from English champions Leicester Tigers in the hope of getting England back on track before the World Cup later this year after Eddie Jones was sacked.
Ex-Scotland lock Doddie Weir was among those present in Edinburgh in November to see Sinfield launch his most recent charity endurance challenge before MND claimed Weir’s life.
England open their Six Nations against Scotland at Twickenham on February 4.
“I spent some time with some Scottish internationals over the last couple years through some tragic circumstances and it’s not lost on me how much there’s a dislike for us,” Sinfield said.
“I understand that that’s quite common across the other nations as well. That’s a powerful tool defensively but also right across the board.
“But if we think we’re going to get a team ready to play because the opposition don’t like us… it needs to be much deeper and much more powerful than that.
“I want the team to really enjoy putting that white shirt on and really enjoying tearing up trees for each other.”
England captain Owen Farrell will be available for the Calcutta Cup fixture despite receiving a four-match ban, reduced to three if he partakes in a coaching programme, for a dangerous tackle.
On Saturday, the Rugby Football Union said they had allocated the final match of his suspension as Saracens’ January 28 game with Bristol Bears — a fixture England players would normally miss just a week out from the start of the Six Nations.
“He understands the tackle height stuff. He’s been smacked over the head with that — if you pardon the pun — enough now,” Sinfield said.
“It’s quite refreshing that we’ve got a fly-half who wants to put his body on the line and wants to be physical… The challenge for us, and across the squad, is to ensure that we don’t cross that line.”