Tait forecasts attacking England

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The Independent Online

Mathew Tait has urged England to loosen the shackles when they aim for a third consecutive win to start their RBS 6 Nations campaign against Ireland at Twickenham this weekend.

England have come in for much criticism for the style of their 17-12 over Italy a fortnight ago when they were far too conservative, engaging in long kicking exchanges despite clear signs Italy could not cope with a high-tempo running game.



All the talk in the build-up to the tournament was of England's new-found attacking freedom - but there was little of it on show at Stadio Flaminio in Rome.



Tait, who scored the only try against Italy, believes England can rectify that this weekend against an Irish side who could be wobbly after a comprehensive defeat to France in Paris.



"The whole group wants to go out and play attacking rugby but we have to make sure we do it at the right time," said Tait.



"The coaches are giving us the freedom to go out and do what we want.



"Last week there was too much kicking. That doesn't mean we will be crazy and throw it around when it is not on but we all want to play an attacking brand of rugby."



England team manager Martin Johnson has steadfastly refused to bow to pressure for his side to show a greater attacking edge, saying only that his team will do what is required to win.



Against an Irish side who yielded under the pressure of a French onslaught a fortnight ago an attacking mindset may yet prove to be Johnson's key directive as he aims to remain unbeaten in this year's competition.



And while the former World Cup-winner has been keen to keep his cards close to his chest, he did admit his side will need to reduce their error count from the Italy game.



"We are obviously a work in progress and the good thing is there is so much we can get better. The players understand that," he said.



"I know if we play anywhere near where we can we will be in a competitive game.



"I also know that if we make errors and give the ball back to them, as we did at times against Italy, we will be under a tremendous about of pressure.



"We have won four on the trot in this competition (over two seasons) and this is a really good game for us to have now.



"We are going against the Grand Slam champions at home, it will be a heck of a game."



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