Monday, 19 March, 2018

Ben Te'o promises England will bounce back against France in Six Nations

Jonathan Sexton right and Rory Best Jonathan Sexton right and Rory Best
Melissa Porter | 10 March, 2018, 14:33

Ever since the fixture list for the 2018 edition of the Six Nations was first announced back in January, many seemed to take for granted that a second successive final day showdown between England and Ireland - this time at Twickenham - would stand as a potentially mouth-watering Grand Slam decider.

Ireland go into today's game with a confident swagger and, with home advantage, they may well be strong enough to see off the high tempo threat of Scotland's attack-minded game.

"And they have a wealth of experience as well throughout, but we've got to make sure we control everything we can control, and that is everything around our game".

"Ringer's been in here for the last couple of years, we all know how good he's been".

"We came away with a good win against Wales and there are some huge positives to come out of that", said Griggs following the 35-12 victory that at least halts the downward spiral following last year's disastrous World Cup.

Hartley hasn't trained since Monday when he was injured, and his absence is a blow to the defending champions looking to bounce back after losing to Scotland 25-13 two weeks ago. Their last victory in Dublin came at Croke Park in 2010, and their winless run in what is now the Aviva Stadium dates all the way back to 1998.

"It's entirely up to them", said Best. I feel we have players capable of doing that. We know they will turn up with an "A" game, because of the way they have been building.

"There are a few areas of our game that we are working to improve and we are aware that we will have to be better if we are to beat a very good Ireland side in Dublin".

"It's about your attitude when you step on the pitch, I don't think the attitude was right [against Scotland] and that showed with some of those first-up tries".

"We've got to go into the game knowing our roles inside out, getting the physicality right", he told ITV. "When we do analysis we don't look at the stadium we look at players, and moves".

Ireland fans will pray Johnny Sexton reverts to his usual reliable self when kicking at goal after the fly-half was off-target on several occasions during a 37-27 win over Wales last time out.