England name unchanged squad for Ireland showdown

Rachel Hardy
March 16, 2017

"I don't think we kick any more than England kick", the former All Black said.

It is a stark contrast to that famous night nearly 30 years ago when post-match refuelling meant something very different as players from both sides hit the town in Edinburgh and ended up in hot water after manhandling the famous old silver trophy the length of a drunken Princes Street pub crawl.

27 - players used in their four games. It will also give them momentum heading into a tough summer tour in New Zealand, playing against three of the best sides in the world in Australia, Canada and the hosts. They are aiming for an even bigger feat on Saturday, beating Ireland in Dublin for back-to-back Grand Slams and a record 19th straight Test victory. "We know we're not number one yet but we want to do things within our power to show we are serious about this goal".

While the players involved this week will be prioritising the result, the potential to achieve the highest honour for a British or Irish rugby player, by being selected as part of a British and Irish Lions touring party, will certainly be at the back of their minds and will add an interesting extra ingredient to what is already an eagerly awaited occasion.

The final game of our 1992 championship, the one that handed us the back-to-back Grand Slams, was against Wales at Twickenham - and last week it was the 25-year anniversary of the game. "Everything would need to go our way for us to win". If players are fighting for the jersey it will only make England a better team.

"They realise that the hard work they are putting in is paying dividends".

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But Ireland can deny them a Grand Slam.

Upon dispatching Scotland, the squad gathered with their families at their training base, but the champagne was put on ice as Jones reflected on the jitters evident at the same stage past year. "We don't get many touring teams that come here any more". "It is all ahead of us".

"Last year it kind of took us by surprise".

This Saturday they will be aiming to double up with a second Grand Slam win.

The remainder of the line-up for the Donnybrook encounter is unchanged as props Lindsay Peat and Ailis Egan join Leah Lyons in the front row for the fifth successive game.

Should he enter the fray in Dublin, the 30-year-old - who made his debut against Wales in February 2011 - will become the third England player to make it a half-century of appearances for his country during this campaign.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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