Freddie Steward urges England to raise Twickenham crowd

Freddie Steward urges England to raise Twickenham crowd

England fullback Freddie Steward has urged his teammates to give fans at Twickenham reasons to be loud and proud again in Saturday’s Six Nations match against Wales after players were booed off in previous home games that ended in defeat.

England have lost four of their last six home matches. They left Twickenham with their heads bowed, having been booed by the crowd after a 53-10 defeat by France during last year’s Six Nations, their heaviest loss at the stadium.

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They faced similar treatment again in their last home match, a 30-22 loss to Fiji in a World Cup warm-up fixture in August.

“Being back at home for the first time since last summer is also synonymous with us being a new group,” Steward told reporters ahead of England’s first home match of the year.

“I would never say the fans need to lift us, they do that on the back of what we do — so the responsibility [to perform] is ours .”

Freddie Steward has scored eight tries for England. Photo by Danilo Di Giovanni – RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images

“As players when you play for England you are expected to win. So when you don’t, you understandably don’t have the fans on our side,” the 23-year-old added.

“The supporters are the heartbeat of what we do. We want Twickenham to erupt, and we want it to be a place we want to go and play in front of our fans and represent them.”

England will be in need of support more than ever as the squad contains several new faces including flanker Ethan Roots and centre Fraser Dingwall, who both made their debuts against Italy last weekend.

Jamie George has replaced Owen Farrell as captain, while the coaching staff also went through a shake up after the World Cup with defence coach Felix Jones and skills consultant Andrew Strawbridge being recent additions.

“This is essentially a fresh start, we have had our World Cup and we are on the start of a new cycle with fresh faces and new coaches,” Steward said.

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