Freddie Steward insists England rugby face their second of reality once they try to start the therapeutic course of in opposition to Grand Slam-chasing Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.
Steve Borthwick’s workforce are reeling from the heaviest defeat of their Twickenham historical past after France amassed seven tries en path to a 53-10 rout that has despatched shockwaves by means of English rugby.
While dealing with world rankings kingpins Ireland on St Patrick’s weekend is the hardest potential enviornment by which to rebuild shattered reputations, Steward says England welcome the prospect to indicate their character.
“Saturday was pretty bleak and I’d like to think that from there the only way is up and that we’ll improve,” mentioned Steward, the one participant to emerge with any credit score from the wreckage of spherical 4.
“Grief is a pretty good way to describe it. It’s never nice to lose, but then to lose by a margin like that is pretty sore.
“The most frustrating thing is that we had ourselves to blame and there’s no shying away from that.
“At times like this you don’t want to splinter off because then the wheels would fall off. We’re in a good spot at the minute because we’ve stayed tight.
“As (defence coach) Kevin Sinfield has said to us, these weeks define teams. When you go to the depths that we did, that’s where you really challenge yourselves to pull together and come up with something.
“Hopefully we’ll look back on this when we regather in a couple of months’ time as a real point where we stepped up and improved.”
Borthwick is wrestling with the dilemma of wanting to offer the identical workforce their shot at redemption whereas adjusting the line-up to account for Ireland’s strengths – their tactical cohesion, breakdown accuracy and relentless ferocity.
The beginning XV for the climax to the Six Nations is called on Thursday night and there will probably be a minimum of two modifications, with Ollie Lawrence and Ollie Chessum dominated out by respective hamstring and ankle accidents.
Manu Tuilagi is about to interchange Lawrence at inside centre in his first look of the event, whereas David Ribbans, Nick Isiekwe, Jonny Hill and George Martin are jostling for Chessum’s spot within the second row.
But the most important determination of all will probably be who fills the quantity 10 jersey, with Marcus Smith, Owen Farrell and George Ford all in competition even at this late stage of the week.
If Ford is given the nod, he will probably be making his first Test look in a yr, having emerged from a troublesome interval by which he was frozen out by Eddie Jones and endured a long-term Achilles damage.
Ford has now spent a number of weeks in England camp and Steward sees his former Leicester team-mate as a hybrid coach.
“It’s almost like having another coach around. He’s so insightful – in meetings and on the pitch,” the full-back mentioned.
“His understanding of the game is second to none and the way he reads the game is incredible.
“He’s one of those players that I always mention when people ask about the best players I’ve played with. I’d always put Fordy up there.”
“From the outside looking in, I don’t think people really understand how good he is. Because of the small things he does, you almost have to be playing alongside him to actually understand what he does for everyone else.”