On towards Twickenham with baited breath

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile.

ALL eyes will be on Twickenham this afternoon (Saturday, kick-off 4.45pm) for a Six Nations pairing that is certain to dish up a mighty battle.

Ireland have won four of the last five games against the English and they go into the fixture boosted with confidence after an incredible run of victories. The game has already been labelled as “one of the biggest Six Nations battles in recent memory” with Ireland hoping to set up a deciding game in the Aviva on St Patrick’s weekend against the Scots.

Back-to-back grand slams is the target for Andy Farrell’s squad and on current form they have enough power to achieve that goal.

England will be no walkover and will certainly be keen to put on a big performance in front of their own fans, but over the 80 minutes Ireland must be fancied.

In their last four wins, the results were 29-10, 29-16, 15-22, and 32-18. This time it may be closer. However, England cannot be discounted. Their home form in the competition can’t be ignored

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Meanwhile, Munster continue to entertain and at the weekend Graham Rowntree’s side put on another stunning display of rugby for three-quarters of the game.

Emptying the bench in the latter stages of the game was nearly costly and the head coach was not happy, saying that the side “played some scintillating rugby and I’ll take the five points, but if we’re going to be honest with ourselves we’ve got to eradicate some of the loose things that we’re doing. We weren’t ruthless enough.”

For the first time that this writer can remember, player’s clubs were named in the team announcements.

A glance at the home side revealed that there was only a single Limerick club player, Craig Casey (Shannon), named in the 23-man squad.