Talk from the England camp may have been more neutral this week given England’s nervy first-half showing in Paris, but Lewis Ludlam has reiterated Eddie Jones’ rhetoric of brutality ahead of the clash with Scotland this weekend.
The Northampton Saints flanker will start on the blindside for the Six Nations match at Murrayfield, with England looking to get back on target for a first title in three years after a sobering loss to France.
But Ludlam was far from reserved in his pre-match comments, signalling the team’s intention to suffocate Scotland of any gains.
Asked whether England play more cerebrally than from the heart like the Celtic nations, Ludlam refuted: “I disagree actually. We are emotionally there. They hate us and we hate them. There is no difference.
“It’s just another place to go. It’s a battle. It’s going to be a war and it’s something we’re excited for and we’ll be ready for.
“We are going out to get stuck into them and they are going to do the same to us. I don’t think there is any difference in the passion between the two sides.
“Whenever you pull on the shirt, it is a proud moment, it is a passionate experience. They won’t be any more revved up than we are for it.”
It is more fiery sentiment from Ludlam which follows a week on from talk by head coach Eddie Jones that France would face ‘brutal physicality’.
Words which fell silent in a first half lacking gameplan from England.
Reflecting on the 24-17 loss to Les Bleus, Ludlam accepted that there was changes to be made.
“It wasn’t the result we wanted against France,” said Ludlam, poised for his 8th cap against Scotland.
“The best teams don’t roll over and take a performance like that. They come back fighting. That is something we are thinking about.”