England centre Herbie Farnworth looking for better from World Cup hopefuls
Herbie Farnworth says England need to go back to the drawing board this week and has vowed to find some personal improvement ahead of the final World Cup Group A game against Greece in Sheffield on Saturday.
The Brisbane Broncos centre has made an impressive start to his Test career as England booked their place in the quarter-finals with big wins over Samoa and France.
But the 22-year-old Lancastrian was disappointed with his own performance in the 42-18 victory over the French last Saturday and says England will need to improve if they are to go on and lift the trophy.
“I wasn’t very happy with how I played,” Farnworth told the PA news agency. “There’s a lot of stuff to build on, from a personal response and also as a team.
“I think we were sloppy in some areas and the French made us pay for some lack of concentration, especially myself.
“I came up with some errors in the back field which hurt the boys. I’ll be better next week.
“We got the result in the end but, if we want to go on and win this thing, we need to improve a lot from that game.
“As a country, we’ve got very, very high standards, so we go back to the drawing board and have a look at where we can improve.
“In the first week we were very very good and we have to get back to that level.”
France coach Laurent Frayssinous publicly backed England to win the World Cup and Farnworth says confidence remains high despite his reservations over the performance last weekend.
“I don’t see why not,” he said. “It’s not been done for a few years so it’s no easy task but we’ve a very talented group and all the boys work very hard and are willing to work hard for the next few weeks.
“We aren’t shy about sharing our goal and that’s obviously to win the World Cup.
“We wouldn’t be here just to turn up and take part, that’s not very English, English spirit is to give your best – always the underdog but fight for everything.”
Farnworth looks certain to keep his place against the Greeks as one of only two specialist centres in England’s 24-man squad but coach Shaun Wane has a decision to make about the other centre spot with Kallum Watkins set to miss the game through concussion protocols.
Wane suggested St Helens utility back Jack Welsby as one of his options immediately post match but he may be needed at full-back if, as expected, he opts to give skipper Sam Tomkins a rest ahead of the knockout stages.
Wigan’s Kai Pearce-Paul will make his debut at Bramall Lane and it could be at centre while St Helens winger Tommy Makinson is another option after sitting out the game against France.