John Mitchell: England motivated to fill Twickenham with captivating displays

By Sports Desk April 20, 2024

England ran riot against Ireland with head coach John Mitchell revealing their pivot to an all-action attack is designed to fill Twickenham.

A crowd of 48,778 watched the Red Roses plunder 14 tries in an 88-10 victory that keeps them on course to win a sixth successive Guinness Women’s Six Nations title when they face France in a likely Grand Slam decider next weekend.

Unstoppable wing Abby Dow and player of the match Ellie Kildunne completed hat-tricks, but there were fireworks across the field as England delivered on their promise to put on a show.

Their ultimate aim is to run out at next year’s home World Cup in front of a sold-out Twickenham and Mitchell insisted that can only be achieved by captivating audiences with a style of play no longer based on forward dominance.

“The girls presented a performance that went up a gear. We asked that of them during the week and they certainly delivered it,” the Kiwi said.

“We’ve got a drive to fill the stadium on a consistent basis because we want to play here consistently.

“If we can continue to produce performances like that it won’t be too long before we do fill all the seats. From that point of view, it’s only that style of rugby that will bring people to watch us.

“We know we have other strengths as well, but this is a good sign and we’re only in the infancy of it.

“It’s a testament to the girls because they go out and own it and see the rewards from it.”

England have amassed 228 points after four rounds of the Six Nations, conceding only 20, and the lopsided scoreline at Twickenham is an ugly look for the competition.

“I’m sure some people will chat about the competitiveness, but at the end of the day we drive ourselves in the way we prepare and that’s all we can focus on,” Mitchell said.

“We’re not really in a position to judge the competition or its competitiveness. Our standards in the way we prepare have gone up a little bit in terms of level.”

Ireland head coach Scott Bemand admitted his side were left “shell-shocked” by the game’s dominant force.

“Tough day at the office. We came up against the market leaders but we’ll dust ourselves down and come back next week,” he said.

“This was a big game for a youthful group. Could we have predicted a margin like that? Probably not.”

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