Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola: England's World Cup failure in 2015 will drive us in 2019
By Sky Sports Rugby Union
Last Updated: 16/07/19 2:38pm
Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola believe England's failure at the Rugby World Cup in 2015 will drive them on to to success in Japan this year.
Four years ago, Stuart Lancaster's England suffered pool stage elimination at a home World Cup, creating history as the first home nation to exit before the knockouts.
Farrell, who has captained England in the injury-enforced absence of Dylan Hartley over the last year, has admitted their disastrous World Cup campaign in 2015 has been a source of motivation.
- Cipriani to undergo extra fitness work
- Owens keen to make World Cup impact
- Foley to leave Waratahs after World Cup
"When you do suffer big losses and get knocked out of tournaments early, you do tend to have a good look at yourself, you tend to be able to get stuff done, to move on and get better," Farrell told Sky Sports.
"And hopefully not dwell on it too long, but use it to make you improve.
"Our results after that [2015 World Cup exit], showed that we did that and have done since.
"But the most exciting thing for us now is that we've got so much more growth and we get to spend a bit more time together between now and getting on the plane to Japan.
"It's all about us getting stuck into what we're doing here and now and improving."
No 8 Vunipola has been crippled by injuries since the last World Cup, but enjoyed a superb 2018/19 season, as Saracens clinched the Champions Cup and Premiership double.
The forward has looked back to his form of old and says the memory of that World Cup in 2015 has played a big part of England's mental preparations this time around.
"It's a good motivating factor [failing at the 2015 World Cup]," Vunipola said.
"Obviously we didn't do very well, it was in England and we kind of let ourselves down, the fans and England.
"But I still think it was good experience for us. It's given us a benchmark of where we need to get to.
"Also listening to our bodies and realising the World Cup is not the end of the world and you can still have fun, you can still have a mixture of life.
"I think we were so focused on doing very well at the  World Cup that we kind of forgot about our surroundings a little bit.
"We got caught up in our own little bubble. It's given us a good basis to move on from and hopefully we can be better in this World Cup.
"There definitely is pressure but with the experiences of 2015 we are kind of embracing it.
"That's what we've learned over the last few years: that people hold England to a different standard.
"I'm not sure if it's down to finance or population, but it's something we are trying to embrace."
Keep across all of England's pre-Rugby World Cup summer internationals as they take on Wales home and away, Ireland and Italy live on Sky Sports.