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England go to Ireland looking for Six Nations grand slam

Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 00:51

England, already crowned Six Nations champions, face an Ireland ''with nothing to lose'', says coach Eddie Jones.

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SHOWS: BAGSHOT, ENGLAND, UK (MARCH 16, 2017) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ENGLAND COACH EDDIE JONES, TALKING ABOUT FINAL PREPARATION FOR DUBLIN MATCH, SAYS: "We will go into the Aviva Stadium ready to play and ready to take the stage. Ireland are going to come out with all their guns blazing, you know they have nothing to worry about, they've got no fear of failure, they were favourites for the competition and now they are out of it so we are anticipating a tough encounter." 2. WHITE FLASH 3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ENGLAND COACH EDDIE JONES, TALKING ABOUT IRELAND, SAYS: "Well they are a threat because they are a very good team. You know any team that beats the All Blacks is a very good team. So we know that. And most teams in the Six Nations have one big performance, we have seen that from all the teams. 4. WHITE FLASH 5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ENGLAND COACH EDDIE JONES, ASKED IF ENGLAND'S ONE BIG PERFORMANCE WAS AGAINST SCOTLAND, SAYS: "Yeah when I said most teams, we are not most teams. We are a different team, we have shown that, and we are ready to take it to a another level on Saturday." STORY: Winger Anthony Watson and number eight Billy Vunipola will both make their first starts of the championship after being selected by England coach Eddie Jones on Thursday (March 16) for the Six Nations showdown with Ireland in Dublin on Saturday (March 18). Victory will secure back-to-back grand slams for England and take their winning run to a tier one world record of 19, overhauling New Zealand's run of 18 from 2015-16. Ireland are second in the standings but things are so tight between them, Wales, France and Scotland that defeat could see them slip to fifth. Jones said he expected Ireland to come out "all guns blazing" but he expected his team to take it to another level on Saturday. An Irish defeat combined with a Welsh win over France in Paris would also see Ireland drop out of the top four in the world rankings and consequently lose their top seeding for May's draw for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. England team to play Ireland (1700GMT March 18): 15-Mike Brown, 14-Anthony Watson, 13-Jonathan Joseph, 12-Owen Farrell, 11-Elliot Daly, 10-George Ford, 9-Ben Youngs; 8-Billy Vunipola, 7-James Haskell, 6-Maro Itoje, 5-Courtney Lawes, 4-Joe Launchbury, 3-Dan Cole, 2-Dylan Hartley (captain), 1-Joe Marler. Replacements: 16-Jamie George, 17-Mako Vunipola, 18-Kyle Sinckler 19-Tom Wood, 20-Nathan Hughes, 21-Danny Care, 22-Ben Te'o, 23-Jack Nowell.

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England go to Ireland looking for Six Nations grand slam

Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 00:51