Farrell wants England unity after Boks loss

  • England lose 42-39 to South Africa - read
  • Jones urges England to improve discipline - read

England captain Owen Farrell says the squad have to stick together to bounce back from their defeat to South Africa in the opening match of the three-Test tour.

Eddie Jones' side raced into the lead following a huge Elliot Daly penalty and then tries for Mike Brown, Daly himself and Farrell before the Springboks battled back into the game. 

A late Jonny May try set up a grandstand finish in Johannesburg with the Boks edging the match 42-39, but England will now look to bounce back in the second Test in Bloemfontein.

"We got off to a good start but a few errors crept in and our discipline let us down a lot," said Farrell.

"We'll look at the game but we need to make sure we stick together and stay tight. This will bring the best out of us - we can't go within ourselves now.

"We will have a look at the footage and make sure we get the technical things right."

'We could have won'

A positive for England was the return of No 8 Billy Vunipola who returned to Test match rugby for the first time since March 2017.

With England scoring five tries and being in the game until the closing stages, the Saracens forward had a positive mindset looking ahead to the rest of the series. "We'll learn from this today."

"We gave them too much front-foot ball, we got too tight around the ruck," said Vunipola.

"They have dangerous players, especially Willie le Roux who is always roaming on that blindside.

"We still could have won that at the end but it's one of those things. We played really well today after that period in the middle and we let our ill-discipline allow them to get on top, but that is something we can fix and control.

"We'll learn from this today, it was a great occasion but we don't like losing."


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