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'We always back ourselves - against any team'

England’s Lewis Ludlam believes Eddie Jones’ side can finish the championship with wins over Ireland, Wales and Italy.

Lewis Ludlam pictured against Scotland.
Lewis Ludlam pictured against Scotland.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

LEWIS LUDLAM HAS fired out a warning shot to Ireland ahead of Sunday’s Six Nations showdown, saying England are backing themselves to reclaim the championship.

Eddie Jones’ World Cup finalists lost their opening day fixture to France in Paris but have recovered since, beating Scotland in Murrayfield, to set up a fascinating conclusion to this championship.

Four teams remain in with a shot at glory, unbeaten Ireland and France, as well as England and Wales. While the latter pair have no margin for error left, Ludlam isn’t deterred from speaking up. He feels England have the mentality to complete their comeback.

“As a team and as players we are always looking at hunting other teams down and scraping out wins and that has always been my mindset,” he said. “We want to impose ourselves on other teams and we will try and do that as much as possible.”

“We back ourselves (to win this year’s title). We always back ourselves, otherwise we wouldn’t be out there. We have full belief in the team. It would be a hard thing to do but we’re aware of the ability we have in the team.

“I get revved up as soon as I know the team. After it’s announced I’m buzzing and ready. I’m thinking about situations and being involved in the game. But the moment I get really pumped up is during the anthems. That’s when my emotions are really high. The hairs stand up on the back of my neck and that’s when you really know you’re in it. That’s when it gets surreal.”

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It’ll be real come Sunday. If selected Ludlam goes up against Ireland’s formidable back-row – CJ Stander, Peter O’Mahony and Josh van der Flier. Ludlam, however, is backing Tom Curry, England’s makeshift No8, to rise to the challenge.

“That’s why you play the game – to challenge yourself against the best,” Ludlam said. “Tom was awesome in Edinburgh. It just goes to show what a great player he is. He received a lot of criticism for the France game but has worked really hard to get things right. To put out that performance at the weekend is testament to him, so I’m really happy for him. He’s hungry to learn.”

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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