Undercover Barritt ready for France

Date published: February 20 2013

England centre Brad Barritt has stated that he is “very satisfied” with his performances so far for his country in the Six Nations.

England centre Brad Barritt has stated that he is “very satisfied” with his performances so far for his country in the Six Nations.

Barritt is often criticised for his unflashy approach but heralded by coaches and critics for his work-rate and impressive defensive abilities, including most recently in England's gritty 12-6 victory over Ireland in Dublin.

The Saracen will be reunited with Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi in England's midfield against France this weekend – the first time the pair have both started alongside each other since the win over New Zealand last November.

Barritt admits that whilst others may take time to see the quality of his performances, the respect of his team-mates is most important.

“Everyone enjoys a fast attacking game but you can also enjoy grinding out a win and being a pillar of strength – defend and lead from the front. I like to think I'm adaptable and can play what's in front of me,” said Barritt.

“As long as you have the respect of the team you are in and the people you play for, that is what matters.

“It may take longer for others to see it but you need to be true to yourself and keep working because, eventually, people will see it.

“You just have to ensure you are doing your best for the side every day. I am very satisfied so far.”

Faced by the ominous shape of Mathieu Bastareaud in midfield this weekend, England will Barritt's defensive skill set more than ever.

“He is a big physical presence but size isn't everything in rugby. If we get our line speed right the biggest guys can fall just as hard,” added Barritt.

“That is something we work hard on as a team, getting our line speed right and not allowing teams to get any momentum.

“The way we applied pressure on the Irish and intensity in the kick chase were monumental to our success in Dublin.

“We are confident because of what we have done – but we are aware we need to improve because we expect a resurgent France team at Twickenham.”

Barritt was part of the England side that pulled off a surprise victory over France in Paris last year in the Six Nations, with the result proving for Barritt that previous games count for little on the day.

“That match showed that in Test rugby you can't take anything for granted. We are in the same position now,” stated Barritt.

“We have had a game where we have been able to play more expansively and a game where we have knuckled down. It has shown both strings to our bow.

“It has been a good start for us with two wins. We need to back up now against France.”