Farrell: Telfer's 'arrogant England' jibes are just a Scotsman trying to stir up passion
Alex Lowe, Press Association
16:15 GMT, 29 January 2013
17:53 GMT, 29 January 2013
JIM TELFER EXCLUSIVE
England are too arrogant, pretentious and condescending to realise they're not as good as they think they are!
Click here to read the full explosive interview
Andy Farrell has insisted he does not recognise the accusation of 'arrogance' that has been levelled at the England squad by Lions legend Jim Telfer.
Responding to Sportsmail's exclusive interview with the former Scotland coach, Farrell revealed the players have laughed off the jibes, which he believes are designed to get the Scots fired up before their trip to Twickenham for Saturday’s Calcutta Cup showdown.
The England management under Stuart Lancaster have worked hard over the last 12 months to eradicate any sense of arrogance from the national team.
Big week ahead: The England squad in training at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot on Tuesday morning
Farrell said: 'I definitely don’t recognise anything he has said.
'People say this every year about the English anyway. It has stuck now. That is why we take it tongue-in-cheek. We know exactly what we are about.
'A couple of the lads have seen it and they are all taking the mick out of each other. They think it’s quite funny about those who have been mentioned. There are a few jokes flying around the place.'
Telfer told Sportsmail that England, who beat New Zealand on the same weekend as Scotland lost to Tonga, are not as good as they think they are.
Impressionable England scrum-half Ben Youngs (above) and wing Chris Ashton (below)
He said: 'They are too arrogant, too pretentious and too condescending to realise they have a problem.'
Chris Ashton, Danny Care, Ben Youngs and Manu Tuilagi were named as 'very impressionable' players who let the All Blacks win go to their heads.
There was credit for England’s coaching team of Lancaster, Farrell and Graham Rowntree, who Telfer described as: 'All from the North and all down to earth.'
Lancaster’s first aim when he took interim charge of the England squad a year ago was to reconnect the national team to their roots.
On the ball: England backs coach Andy Farrell, and with captain Chris Robshaw (below) on Tuesday
Top post: England boss Stuart Lancaster
In the wake of the 2011 World Cup disappointments, Lancaster wanted to restore a sense of pride in the jersey from within the squad and a sense of pride in the England team from the public.
England now prepare for the RBS 6 Nations in Leeds rather than in Portugal. They drew 6,000 to an open training session at Headingley and Lancaster last Friday held a seminar for 500 grass-roots coaches.
Telfer’s comments have certainly stoked the boiler ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations opener at Twickenham, where Scotland have not won in 30 years.
'He’s Scottish isn’t he, very passionate about his country and he wants to give his lads as much belief as he can,' Farrell said. 'He cares about his country.
'It is him trying to do the right thing by his own country, to try and motivate them.
'That is what he has always been about really – passion and stirring a few feathers up along the way. It is what you want, a bit of passion.'