'England will be going out all guns blazing' - Courtney Lawes

Courtney Lawes will be captaining England in the absence of Owen Farrell
Courtney Lawes will be captaining England in the absence of Owen Farrell

England captain Courtney Lawes insists they will be using the recent criticism on the side as a motivation in the upcoming Rugby World Cup campaign.

Since Steve Borthwick took in charge of the side from Eddie Jones, England finished fifth in the Six Nations tournament and lost three out of their four warm-up games leading to the showpiece event.

The streak of defeats also saw them drop to the eighth position in the World Rugby Rankings and their problems will be further compounded by the absence of regular skipper Owen Farrell for the first two matches due to a suspension.

Reacting to the criticism on the team over the recent performances, Lawes said the side is determined to make a statement in the upcoming World Cup.

"There is definitely a frustration. It's obviously a bit of fuel for the fire and gives us motivation.

"We feel it as much as anybody. We are in the thick of it and we are doing all we can to make sure, come this weekend, we are firing on all cylinders.

"We are going out all guns blazing and we are going to give it everything we've got."

Head coach Borthwick also echoed Lawes' sentiments about writing the team off early even before the competition started and has backed his players to make an impact.

“I sense there is a feeling among the players that they’ve been written off too early. That people have called time on them a bit too early.

“There is a lot of class in this squad. The players have a hell of a lot more to go. They can’t wait to get stuck in.”