The Big Talking Points Ahead Of Ireland’s Mammoth Clash With England This Afternoon
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Ireland and England will collide later today in a mammoth Six Nations clash at Twickenham with a Triple Crown up for grabs for Andy Farrell’s men.
England meanwhile need a win today to keep their hopes of capturing the championship alive following their opening round defeat to France at the Stade de France in Paris.
Ireland have gone for an unchanged starting XV from the side that scored an impressive bonus-point win over Wales in Round 2.
Here are the big talking points.
Wales weren’t too happy with Ireland’s scrum tactics in Round 2 with England passive a few notable comments themselves this week. Eddie Jones is without Mako Vunipola with Joe Marler tasked with dealing with Tadhg Furlong. Whoever gets the upper hand here could decide the game.
Jones has picked four second-rows in his squad as he looks to get the better of Ireland at lineout time. But with Iain Henderson out, Farrell has brought in 6ft 10in Devin Toner, a man who has proven time and time again he’s one of the best lineout operators in the world. Another huge set-piece to keep an eye on.
The back-row battle.
Once again Eddie Jones has decided to not go with a recognised number eight in his squad with Tom Curry filling in. He’s also got a second-row by trade in Courtney Lawes at six. Ireland meanwhile have CJ Stander in the form of his life at eight with O’Mahony and van der Flier flanking him. And let’s not forget Doris on the bench. But Sam Underhill might have a thing or two to say. Should be a cracking battle regardless.
Jones has moved Elliot Daly back to fullback with centre Jonathan Joseph on the wing. Ireland learned the hard way against England last year, playing your back-three players out of position generally doesn’t work. And with Conway in the form of his life, Joseph could be in trouble.