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Not one England player could 'force their way into this Irish team'

By Ian Cameron
Ben Earl of England looks on prior to the Guinness Six Nations 2024 match between Scotland and England at BT Murrayfield Stadium on February 24, 2024 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Dan Mullan - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Former Ireland scrumhalf Peter Stringer doesn’t believe a single England player would make Andy Farrell’s current Ireland 15.

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Ireland face England in Twickenham this Saturday in what is being billed as potentially their toughest task of the tournament with the exception of their Round 1 victory over France in Marseille. While England have hardly impressed to date, beating any English side at HQ in the Six Nations remains a remarkably tough assignment for any Test side.

Yet while Stringer has regard for many of Steve Borthwick’s side, he doesn’t see even the likes of outstanding back row Ben Earl cracking Ireland’s current green machine.

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“England is probably the tougher game on paper. Going to Twickenham is never easy, and they were so poor against Scotland that you’d expect there to be some sort of backlash. England have got some quality players, but I’m not sure any would force their way into this Irish team.

“Jamie George is a great leader who has come into his own as captain, but Dan Sheehan has got it all and will be world-class. Maro Itoje is one of England’s most senior players, but the second rows for Ireland have been phenomenal. Tadhg Beirne was a doubtful starter not so long ago but has made the position his own and is now one of the first names on the team sheet.

“I’ve been so impressed with Ben Earl over the last 12-18 months, but this Irish back row is just so competitive. The loose forwards that Ireland are developing are just a new mode of player in terms of offering a line-out option, having an engine that goes all day and possessing pace, handling and great footwork. Caelan Dorris has barely missed a minute over the last 30 games and has been my standout player of the tournament so far.

“It will be fascinating to see how England approach the game. They tried to mix it up against Scotland but came up with so many errors, turnovers and spilt balls from poor passing.

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“The threat that Ireland bring on both sides of the ball means England won’t want to get caught in their own half, so I have a feeling that they may go back to the territory kicking game that worked so well for them in the World Cup. It’s not pretty but it got them to a semi-final and is very effective.”

You can read the full article here.

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Comments

9 Comments
B
Bull Shark 126 days ago

Not only that - Ireland will win the next World Cup. We should all pack it in folks. Game over. Let’s go home.

T
Tom 126 days ago

Earl and Freeman would probably get in on current form. Earl as a flanker though not an 8.

S
Stuart 126 days ago

Well, that’s England fired up.

S
Simon 126 days ago

Ah, the arrogance of Irish rugby raises it’s head again! They must enjoy being the most hated team in world rugby because they continue to talk themselves as being untouchable! They forget that they are way behind England, France and Wales in titles and they quickly forget about being unable to get past the first knockout game of a world cup! A great winner handles that title with dignity and respect for others. An average winner just descends to trash talk and that’s all we get from the Irish.

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