England vs Ireland: What we expect to happen when Ireland travel to Twickenham

While the destination of Six Nations title has already been decided, there is still plenty to play for when Ireland face England at Twickenham on Saturday.

The visitors will be looking to complete the Grand Slam after England’s 22-16 defeat to France handed the Irish the Championship with one match to spare.

Joe Schmidt’s side had already maintained their unbeaten record in the opening game of Week 4 and closed in on their first title since 2015 by beating Scotland 28-8 in Dublin.

It left England needing a bonus-point victory to keep the title race alive at Stade de France later that same day, but Eddie Jones’ side slipped to back-to-back defeats for the first time under his reign.


Despite smarting from losses to Scotland and Les Bleus, England still have an opportunity to exact revenge over Ireland on Super Saturday.

England have previously been beaten on the final day of the Six Nations in Dublin in 2001, 2011 and in last year’s tournament as Ireland inflicted Jones’ first defeat as Red Rose head coach.

The hosts now have the chance to deny Ireland their third Grand Slam on St Patrick’s Day, as well as quell the doubts that have creeped in about their World Cup credentials.


They will only be able to beat Ireland, though, if they cut out the ill-discipline that has plagued their last two games in which they have given away 29 penalties.

England’s problems at the breakdown – as well as a series of injuries in the back row – have resulted in Jones belatedly bringing in Exeter Chiefs’ Don Armand.

After repeated calls for his inclusion being previously ignored by Jones, his presence could be pivotal to England getting back on track and upsetting Ireland’s party.

Owen Farrell will also be looking to bounce back after his on-field leadership was questioned as he captained England for the first time in Dylan Hartley’s absence in France.

He will resume his rivalry with Johnny Sexton with a point to prove, while Jones is also likely to call on Mike Brown after dropping him at full-back in favour of Anthony Watson.

Breakdown dominance

But if the game is decided at the breakdown – as many are predicting – then Ireland’s impressive work in and around the contact area during this year’s tournament could prove the difference.

CJ Stander has been in impressive form for the champions, with Peter O’Mahony and newcomer Dan Leavy also influential in Ireland’s consistency this season.

It’s certain hard to see past another Ireland victory, but 23 angry Englishman have the potential to deliver a sting in their tail if they can sort out their issues.


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